The family with four young boys wanted to open up the existing basement floor of their four-storey Victorian terraced house to create a light open plan kitchen and family room maximizing storage wherever possible.
The existing basement was subdivided into four rooms. The kitchen was in the centre of the plan with very little natural light or views out. The garden was split-level with an abrupt change of level close to the rear of the house so this was excavated back to create a larger terrace at basement level.
The new kitchen sits centrally between a sitting area at the front and a rear dining area that opens onto the garden via sliding glazed doors. Two new elements create a line that runs the length of the site; a light-ledge and a folded oak stair and bench.
A light ledge with concealed continuous cold cathode lighting runs from the front wall over the kitchen and down onto the staircase.
The cantilevered oak stair folds back on itself, to become a bench seat which runs from inside to out, finishing as steps. The internal stair rests on a fossil slate plinth which itself runs through to the outside and takes over the role as steps up to the upper garden level.
Deep storage drawers are provided the entire length of the oak bench internally. A coat room and separate WC are concealed behind full height sliding doors and a storage wall houses kitchen appliances, the boiler and general household items.
The works were carried out whilst the family were living in the house and included setting up a temporary kitchen at ground floor level.