The clients, a musician and a cook, wanted to create a new house behind the 19th-century listed facades of the redundant Holland Park Fire Station.
The design solution developed from an early discussion with the clients that took place at roof level. At this level there were dramatic views out over west London and it was clear that the building could be transformed if this rooftop potential could be exploited to create additional living space and let natural light down into the centre of the deep plan spaces below.
This potential was realised by inserting a roof top conservatory in the centre of the plan, which can automatically retract in good weather to create an open roof terrace. The steel and glass structure allows sunlight to flood down into the centre of the second floor living area, and a section of glass floor at this level also allows light to penetrate down to the first floor hallway below.
In addition to the natural light from above the different levels of the house are linked together by a flight of tapering stone steps which lead directly from the front door at street level up to the second floor living area, and by a three storey storage wall which both defines the staircase and separates it from the accommodation at first and second floor levels.