Basement and second-floor conversion

Brighton, BN1

The brief: Take advantage of the enormous development potential offered by the property’s loft and the basement, converting the latter into a separate two-bedroom flat with an enclosed private patio to the rear.

The property: The house was a 1930s semi-detached house in a conservation area. It was subject to an Article 4 Direction and the proposed work required detailed liaison with the council’s planning department.

The unused loft space was one of the largest I have ever seen in a normal house and would have lent itself to conversion to a small flat on its own. The basement covered the rear three quarters of the house’s floor plan, with an old garage taking up much of the usable space.

The solution: Extend the basement flat to the rear, creating a new kitchen and living room for the flat and a new balcony for the house above (accessed from the rear ground floor) with steps down to the garden.

Conservation-style roof lights and windows were the only allowable visible alteration to the front. To the rear the planners were happy with proposals that copied similar examples in the street of the rear dormers and the rear basement extension.

The result: In the basement, the conversion and rear extension creates a two-bed flat with bi-folding doors to the rear patio, with a light-well providing light and ventilation to the front bedroom.

In the loft, the line and design of the stairs continues up onto a second-floor landing, which gives access to the office and the spacious bedroom with its large relaxing space and an en-suite bath and shower room.



“Martin McCurdy designed both our loft extension and our kitchen extension. He was incredibly sensitive and responsive to our brief; he used the space in a way that was beyond our imagination and his handling and advice regarding all matters concerning construction and planning was excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Martin to anyone seeking advice on their own homes.” PC, Seven Dials

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