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32


SELF-BUILD & CUSTOM BUILD PROJECT REPORT


BIM DEBUT The project served as a test bed for LTS Architects’ implementation of BIM using Revit


various planning and site constraints to deliver the property on the land-locked and overlooked site.


“There were a ton of constraints,” explains Greg Shannon, co-founder and director of LTS Architects. “Initially, we thought, there’s not much space, is there? But when we looked closer at the site we saw that it would enable us to produce a form of introverted architecture, more about moving light around inside the property than creating views out.”


Tight fit


The Hidden House is the reworking of a former shop and two former workshop buildings located behind it – a 1980s block used as a children’s furniture showroom, and a paid storage space. The private client, based in Bath, owns the building next door, and wanted a London base for sporadic use by different members of his family, who have business engagements in the capital.


The original plan was for an above- ground development, but this had to be rethought after the planners demanded the retention of the existing gap in the street frontage. Any redesign would therefore have to work within the existing silhouette. The prospect of a basement redevelop- ment was daunting – excavations on the same street had been refused in planning – but the fact the excavation would expand


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The original plan was for an above-ground development, but this had to be rethought after the planners demanded the retention of the existing gap in the street frontage. Any redesign would therefore have to work within the existing silhouette


on an existing basement satisfied the Local Authority and the project was given the go-ahead.


Shannon says: “That was five years ago and the same decision might not happen today, London borough councils have really clamped down on basement excavations, which can be messy, noisy and intrusive.” The existing brick buildings were in a poor state of repair so the decision was made to demolish the interiors and excavate the site back to its footings, while preserv- ing the exterior shell and party walls. The roughly L-shaped plan defines two intersecting perpendicular volumes. The


ADF JUNE 2017


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