Preston Drove

Life Size Architecture, Brighton, 2020



Photography by Jim Stephenson (website)     Download Original

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We were approached by our clients who owned the basement flat below their house and had aspirations of merging the two properties to create a home that better suited their needs

The main challenge was to reconnect the basement level to the main house, whilst also creating generous, well-lit spaces, despite the core of the renovation works being below the street level. These challenges were overcome by creating openings in the separating floors to allow ambient light to filter between the levels of the house.

To the rear, on an intermediate floor, which was previously home to the kitchen, we created mezzanine spaces with great views out to the garden through a large, centralised picture window through the rear elevation of the house. Being in a conservation area also came with its challenges. This allowed us to draw out the more characterful parts of the existing building, whilst also introducing a fresh dose of contemporary design into the mix that sits well in its context.

The bespoke joinery package we designed provides further connection through the spaces, with shelving units that rise up from the lower ground floor level to the levels above. Keeping hold of the contemporary aesthetic which was desired and reflecting the character of the clients, we kept the structural elements fun with a heavy injection of 'traffic yellow'.

A frameless glass extension infills the side return, with a green wall adding a bit of life, to what was otherwise an unused part of the garden. It is fair to say, that we were blessed with two fantastic clients (and their beautiful dog!) on this project, who had faith in the design throughout the process, both sharing and the vision we had for their project and contributing to it in equal measures.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Jul 2019
  • Completed: Apr 2020
  • Floor area: 107m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £210,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Apr 2019
  • Procurement: JCT MW16
  • Address: Preston Drove, Brighton, BN1, United Kingdom

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