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Clapham Submerged Mews

key description: new built mews in conservation area
year: 2011
client: Roy Ruffler
sqm: 270
borough: Wandsworth Council, London

Unit One Architects were asked for concept scheme and feasibility study for mews in one of Clapham’s conservation areas. Four houses are conceived within an extremely tight backland site, set between two streets of Victorian terraces. The new houses are cleverly designed to sit one story above ground with a basement, making a limited impact on this highly overlooked site.

The houses have been highly designed to counter the privacy and over-looking issues by employing sunken courtyard gardens and arched timber slats. The Lower Storey is built within the ground in order to benefit from the natural insulation provided by the thermal mass of earth.

The Houses will be super-insulated and use large triple glazed window units to ensure heat from the sun is fully utilised. Fully glazed folding doors will open out from the living spaces into the private enclosed courtyards.

Solar shading techniques incorporated into the modern design will prevent any overheating in summer, but allow solar gains in winter. The Green roof will insulate the house and also collect water for use within the house and garden.

Solar thermal tubes will be incorporated on the roof providing 40% of the houses hot water requirements. An air source heat pump will be used to reduce carbon emissions further. The house is designed to achieve a level 5 rating with The Code for Sustainable Homes.