Conversion of the Crystal Palace Underground Public Toilets

Lamp Architects, London, 2012


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Down through Kitchen 

James Balston (website)     Download Original

  • Down through Kitchen    
  • Living room     
  • Living looking kitchen    
  • Kitchen tile details    
  • Kitchen floating shelves    
  • Bathroom    
  • Kitchen through to entrance    
  • Bedroom and wardrobe     
  • Wardrobe    
  • Courtyard garden    
  • Lower ground floor    
  • Sectional elevation    
  • Existing lower ground floor plan    
  • Existing sectional elevation    
  • Existing elevations    
  • Sketch perspectives    
  • Existing ladies stalls    
  • Existing gents toilets    
  • Existing derelict underground public toilets    
  • Initial demolition in the ladies     
  • Initial demolition in the gents    
  • Existing gents stalls    
  • On site    
  • On site    
  • Development ideas proposed concept section    
  • Development ideas proposed concept plans    

Renovation and conversion of a derelict underground public toilet site in Crystal Palace into a subterranean single bedroomed dwelling

The former Underground public toilets, built in 1929 were redundant for over thirty years. I saw an opportunity to buy and redevelop them, so I approached Lambeth Council. It took several years to overcome the legalities of purchasing such a property, and during this time the redevelopment concept had mutated from an art space to residential.
As the developer, I worked as the architect, client and contracted all trades. Careful value engineering and simple detailing were key to transforming this unlikely site into a contemporary home. All finishes were carefully chosen and details designed to ensure a unique bespoke feel. Floating shelves flow down the interior spine wall. These are a key design and display feature as well providing practical storage. The courtyard garden has been planted with evergreen shrubs and ferns
The original entrances have been re-rendered with the iron work and soil stack being retained, renovated and reused. Overall, the micro-regeneration of this site has successfully enhanced the parade and given new life to a long abandoned site.


  • Begun: Oct 2011
  • Completed: Mar 2012
  • Floor area: 57m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £68,000
  • Funding: Self Funded
  • Tender date: May 2011
  • Procurement: Self Developer - Direct Subcontracting
  • Address: The Former Underground Toilets, 9 Crystal Palace Parade, Crystal Palace, London, SE19 1UA, United Kingdom

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