Alexandra Road


Subject of the renovation is a typical three-bedroom Edwardian property in southwest London. The first floor had been extended and refurbished previously and in 2003 a side/rear infill extension was added. Additionally, the front elevation had been cleaned up and repointed with lime mortar, including stripping the white paint and soot staining from the buff detailing and sandstone cills returning the fa├žade to its original appearance when first built.

The refurbishment involved a comprehensive gutting of the ground floor, removal of all chimney breasts (already gone from the first floor) and the stripping of all linings and doors. The suspended floors were ripped out and the voids filled in to create solid concrete floors throughout except over the cellar. All external walls are insulated as are the floors and underfloor heating is installed throughout. The internal layout has been reconfigured to make the whole ground floor open plan, with kitchen and dining area separated from the front reception room by glass doors and small, but perfectly formed shower room in the centre. The front door entrance lobby is accessed by a large double glazed inner door and effectively acts as an airlock from the outside.

The floors are finished with large format dark grey porcelain tiles which act as a good conductor for the underfloor heating. The detailing is very minimal with shadow gaps rather than skirtings and there are no architraves round the door openings. The doors are bespoke made with tall glass panels and layered oak framing with an oiled finish and a large square picture window allows a good view of the rear garden. The kitchen has black carcasses with crown oak veneered doors and a seamless white Corian worktop and full height splashback.

The whole house has been made extremely airtight with triple glazed widows to the front elevation and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery delivers a constant flow of clean fresh air drawn from the rear of the property. Solar panels have installed on both the southwest and southeast facing roofs at the rear and the power consumption has more than halved as a result of all the measures taken.

This project demonstrates that in practical terms that a typical old style of London property can be brought up to and beyond current efficiency requirements without compromising its external appearance on the street.