Kenilworth Road House

Page 1

Crawford Partnership

Kenilworth Road


Crawford Partnership was established in 1997 by Alan Crawford as a boutique style London based architecture and interior design practice. For 25 years the design team has been involved in the creation of many bespoke ‘signature homes’ throughout London. These new build houses are usually located on difficult brownfield, back land, or infill plots, and often come with challenging development budgets. In bringing our client’s aspirations for their new homes to reality, the ongoing climate crisis and the need to develop energy efficient homes for 21st century living are high on our agenda, inspiring us to push the boundaries of residential design with every project targeting carbon neutral design and performance goals, exploring innovative technology and materials, and developing alternative thinking on traditional housing layout. Working with the clients brief, each individual project explores the context and constraints of the site with our aim to produce beautiful, modern, comfortable and functional homes in harmony with their surroundings, each with a unique identity in a fusion of two and three dimensional design, and with internal spaces that provide visual enjoyment and flexibility in use for the owners. This new book illustrates a new build home bordering a conservation area in West London completed in spring 2021, that has been carved out from a compact infill plot originally accommodating a lockup garage that was acquired years ago by our client to park his car in, but was no longer used. The new 2 storey house provides a contemporary addition within the street scene, whilst designed to respect and enhance the varied surroundings of period and post war homes in the local area. The project provides the reader with an example of the typical compact plots that we continue to work on across London that have similar potential to create interesting, contemporary new homes on. We share many insights and illustrations as examples of our working process and methodology to demonstrate our complete involvement in the design and construction process from inception through to completion. With a rapidly growing global population and increasing urbanisation inflating land prices in major cities around the world, we continue to direct our work philosophy and experience towards the detailed study of residential design, from the provision of affordable self-build dwellings that provide solutions to combat the global housing crisis and address the ongoing challenges of climate change, through to the retrofitting and modernisation of existing homes across London that serve to enrich our enjoyment and appreciation of architecture. Our design influences are many, taking inspiration from art and technology, science and nature, through to travel and literature, with each unique project aspiring to create beautiful crafted built forms and spaces and to incorporate sustainable materials and technology that enable contemporary design solutions that maximise light, space, and comfort whilst providing visual delight for all. Alan Crawford 2021


Client Testimonial I acquired a site with no planning permission in Ealing on which stood a double garage and a forecourt. In my mind I felt I could build a small house on the site but it was beset with challenges. Not only was it a small site but it was closely surrounded by residential properties and gardens bordering a conservation area. After much research on the internet I approached The Crawford Partnership. They had a record of getting planning approvals on difficult sites and the designs in their portfolio were attractive to me. I sent the partnership some basic details and street view pictures of the site prior to arranging a meeting. Alan Crawford showed me a simple sketch design and expressed optimism at overcoming the difficulties. My principal concern was whether a one aspect house would be gloomy. That issue was solved for the living room with a stepped rear facade to provide a full width horizontal light well. There was a further light well over the stairs which were enclosed in a glass wall allowing more light into the living room. Upstairs at the back of the house was a reverse Juliet balcony which let in light without overlooking neighbouring gardens. Planning was approved with no changes. Alan helped with the interior design too - the kitchen and dining area work very well as do the shelving units in the living room. Alan and his team listened to comments I made during the design process and made numerable changes before the final plans were fixed. As a result there were very few change orders during the construction phase. I have no hesitation in recommending this architect.


Contents 01 Introduction 04

02 Site 06

03 Brief Development 08

04 Concept Design 10

05 Detailed Design 20

06 Construction Process 28

07 Completed Project 32



Over the years, Crawford Partnership has been involved in the creation of many bespoke ‘signature homes’ throughout London. These new build houses are usually located on difficult brownfield, back land, or infill plots, and often come with challenging development budgets. In maximising the potential of building new homes on difficult plots, we are mindful of the climate crisis and the need to develop energy efficient, carbon neutral designs for 21st century living, that inspires us to push the boundaries of residential design, technology and materials, and to consider and explore alternative ideas on traditional housing layout in bringing our client’s aspirations to reality. Working with the clients brief, each individual project thoroughly explores the context and constraints of the site with our aim to produce beautiful and functional building forms in harmony with their surroundings, and that maximise the potential to create modern homes, each with a unique identity and with internal spaces that provide visual excitement and flexibility in use in a fusion of two and three dimensional design.


Crawford Partnership ‘Signature Houses’




Located in West London in the London Borough of Ealing, the former garages plot faces onto Kenilworth Road adjacent to Ealing Common Conservation Area, and a short walk from Ealing Common and Ealing Broadway Station. The site comprises of a small parcel of land previously occupied by the former garages, and including the forecourt, all with an overall footprint 66m2. Flanked by neighbouring properties and gardens on three sides, in order to maximise the internal footprint, the exterior walls required to be constructed along these three boundaries, necessitating Party Wall Agreements with neighbours. The constrained site also offered limited potential to place windows on these three sides without impacting on neighbour’s amenity, with overlooking, overshadowing and privacy all concerns in developing the designs. The finished home therefore relies on much of the internal daylight from high level sources utilising large skylights that flood the interior areas with daylight and sunshine throughout the day, and demonstrating how we work with the nuances of the site to turn these constraints into an architectural advantage.

Site Plan

Conscious of the public frontage against the pavement along Kenilworth Road, the design incorporates a small front courtyard garden enclosed by a brick boundary wall and hedge that aligns with neighbouring houses, and which provides a buffer zone of private defensible space against the street whilst enabling full height windows and sliding doors to be introduced on the main front façade. 06

Site Elevation

Site Front & Side View

Rear Of Site


Brief Development As the population in London becomes denser and land becomes scarcer and more expensive, architects are having to find new and innovative ways to design affordable inner city housing. Crawford Partnership Architects’ area of expertise is in exactly that; turning unused, problematic plots into new contemporary homes that are both flexible and affordable.

Initial Perspective Sketch

In 2019, we were contacted by a potential new client, who for many years had owned a double lockup garage with off-street forecourt parking fronting a leafy street adjacent to a Conservation Area in the London Borough of Ealing. As with many lockup garages around London, the increased size of modern cars has outgrown these once popular off-street parking spaces and most are now used for storage, and our client no longer used his garage to park his car in, and wanted to put the space to better use, and had the idea of obtaining planning permission to build a new compact 2 storey house on the confined 66m2 plot to give his son a foothold up onto the property ladder. He had read about our success in receiving planning consents for similar small houses across London. The site came with many constraints, and numerous planning policy issues that needed to be addressed and resolved with Ealing Planning Department, and whilst our client appreciated the difficulties in realising his aspirations, he was nevertheless incredibly enthusiastic over the possibility in obtaining a consent.


Kenilworth Road View

Initial Ground Floor Plan

Initial First Floor Plan 09


Concept Design

Kitchen & Dining


Heat Pump & Store

To maximise the potential area, at ground level the external walls flank directly along 3 of 4 site boundaries where no windows were possible, and our client wanted to avoid a gloomy interior.

Living Room

This presented an architectural challenge in bringing natural daylight and sunlight into the interior whilst providing views out and maintaining privacy and persevering the existing amenity enjoyed by neighbours flanking the site that would be a key goal in obtaining planning permission. These physical and planning constraints are turned to architectural advantage in the realised design, with our solution to overcome these daylighting problems providing for: • Maximum areas of triple glazed floor to ceiling windows and opening glazed doors on the front façade. • A large skylight on the main flat roof over the staircase that combines with a fire-resistant toughened glass wall between the staircase and the open plan ground floor space. • A 1 metre set back to the first-floor external wall along the rear boundary enabling a second large skylight to be introduced above the kitchen on the rear ground floor flat roof. • A niche cut into the rear first floor external wall enabling 3 discreet recessed windows to be introduced to rooms on the back of the house. This resultant combination of glazing provides interiors that are bright and sunny throughout the day belying the need for conventional windows, with a bonus of ever-changing dancing patterns of sunlight and filigree shadow bouncing down walls and across floors within. 10

Home Office


Courtyard Forecourt


Ground Floor Key Features: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Private forecourt Bicycle store Private refuse store Open plan kitchen, dining and living room Courtyard Unique kitchen design Office beside courtyard Bespoke open plan stairs with illuminated handrail Utility space with guest WC Air source heat pump & underfloor heating Skylights over kitchen and staircase Floor to ceiling windows Bespoke living room shelving units Unique courtyard planter



First Floor Key Features: • • • • • • • •

Two double bedrooms Master EnSuite with floor to ceiling windows Privacy maintained Master bedroom with Juliet balcony Bespoke wardrobe design Windows into the rear gardens First floor outdoor access Bespoke bathrooms

En Suite Master Bedroom


12 Site & Roof Plan

Street Elevation Design


14 Section A


16 Section B


18 Rear Elevation

Front Render


Capping Stone Anthracite Grey

Detailed Design

Key Section Detail In Red

Insulated steel lintel by Catnic 12.5 plasterboard + 2.5 skim soffit with two recessed curtain tracks by silent gliss SG 6243

Alufold Direct part of curtain wall AluK GB BSC94 Duorail P-15-801 P-15-100 Sliding Door Outer Frame DuoRail, AW543R2 150mm Drop Nose Cill

The two-storey 91m2 house is simply configured, set behind a brick boundary wall capped with a planter and hedge to provide screening and defensible space on the street frontage. The main entrance door opens from the front courtyard garden onto a lobby leading to the open plan ground floor living, kitchen, and dining area. A wc and utility space are concealed below the main stairs along with the heating and ventilation plant. From the ground floor lobby, a bespoke oak staircase rises to first floor where two double bedrooms and two bathrooms are located, one of which is ensuite to the main bedroom. In aspiring towards zero-carbon goals, the design incorporates modern methods of construction and a fabric first approach to energy conservation to minimise the carbon footprint, and the house is constructed with 350mm thick air tight insulated masonry walls, triple glazed floor to ceiling windows, and energy-efficient technologies including an air-source heat pump providing underfloor heating and hot water, solar pv panels, and a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, with installations controlled by smart home technology and the overall design achieving near passive house standards, which was a key driver in our clients brief. The design follows the policy guidance on small sites development in the Mayor’s London Plan and respects the scale and massing of adjacent homes, aiming to preserve and enhance the character of the street scene using facing brick and stone with charcoal coloured aluminium framed windows as the main external finishes, creating a contemporary exterior in the ‘Bauhaus’ style that the clients liked. 20

Cavity closer - Rockwool 12314 Fire Barrier Insulation Roll w/ Galvanised Mesh on One Side 4m2 Alufold Direct part of curtain wall Mid back Painted Glass Panel

12.5 plasterboard + 2.5 skim soffit with two recessed curtain tracks by silent gliss SG 6243 Alufold Direct part of curtain wall AluK GB BSC94 Duorail P-15-801 P-15-100 Sliding Door Outer Frame DuoRail, AW543R2 150mm Drop Nose Cill Adjustable Paving Support Pedestal Alufold Direct Double track - Premium Slider Cap Grit tile 800x800x20 by Stone & Ceramic Warehouse Damp Proof Course Vapour Control Layer Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Insulation 140mm Waterproof Membrane

Void between concrete binding and underside of prestressed concrete floor beams

Waterproof Membrane Slab to S.E details

GroundSun GS200 ASHP

Electrical Mains/ Smart Metre 2 x Double Sockets

Monarch Midi HE Water Softener


OMNIE Manifold

Store Store

Staircase & Store Details


22 Living Room Shelving Unit


White MDF Panel To Match Living Room Shelving Unit

Glass Doors

Clear Glass Splashback

30mm Thick Quartz Carrara Smoky White

Storage Unit

Storage Unit

Sink/ Recycling Bins


Hob/ Oven

Storage Unit

Cutlery/Cooking Equipment


30mm Thick Quartz Carrara Smoky White

Kitchen Design


24 Master Bedroom EnSuite

Family Bathroom


26 Materiality

Brick - Ibstock Shaftsbury 4950

Crown Cut American White Oak

Capping Stone Anthracite Grey

Entrance Dark Grey Carpet

Frosted Glass

Back Painted Glass

Porcelanosa - Carrara

Porcelanosa - Rhin Ivory

Quartz Carrara Smoky White

Tacker Insulation Panel Damp Proof Membrane

Floor Finish

Pipes Screed


Solar Panels On Roof

Solar PV Panels Supplementing Energy Required Triple Glazed Windows High Level Insulation Low Temperature Underfloor Heating On Each Floor

Air Source Heat Pump

Mechanical Ventilation With Heat Recovery Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Passivhaus Standards Aim

Stale Air


Stale Air


Construction Process Ground Floor

First Floor


The process of construction is rarely simple, however the constraints of the site made this particularly challenging. The practice has a wealth of experience in this type of complex backland and infill development, working closely with the contractor and members of the design team throughout the process to enable the works to be completed efficiently to realise the client’s brief. The initial works were to demolish the existing double garage and the old concrete foundation. Following with the assembly of a new mass concrete strip foundation at 1.75 metres below existing ground level and 225mm deep prestressed beam and block flooring.

Section A

Section B

All facing walls were built via a brick and block construction throughout, steel beams, timber packers and Comflor galvanised metal deck with 150 mm thick concrete slab were to form required shape of roof lights, floor to ceiling windows and internal walls. Crawford Partnership secured the planning permission within the statutory 8-week period, and all the detailed design and construction work was completed during the lockdown periods, with a 10 months build period, and with the client’s son now happily living in his new home.

Front/North Side Elevation


3D Views

Rear/South Side Elevation

Demolition Of Garage On Site

Site Clearance

Removal Of Old Concrete Foundation

New Beam & Block Foundation


30 Cavity Wall Build-up

Brickwork & Steel Frame Progression

First Floor Frame

Skylight Placement

Interior Development

Juliet Balcony Placement


Completed Project The transformation of the unused garages into a contemporary 21st century home for our client’s son echoes the many opportunities that exist on similar sites across London to create unique self-build designs adapted to meet the needs of urban living. The many constraints to be overcome inspired the architectural resolution of the design, accommodating flexible living spaces full of daylight and sunshine in a spacious contemporary home that belies its small footprint. In creating a coherent language throughout, the simple yet distinctive style preserves and enhances the varied context in the street. Working on this type of project requires a combination of resilience, dedication, and architectural skill and flair to enable the client’s vision to come to fruition. This also necessitates working with multiple stakeholders; from the client, the planning department, the building contractor, as well as many design consultants and specialists involved in realising the design. The success of Kenilworth is the result of this design collaboration, orchestrated by Crawford Partnership from start to finish. By adopting a participatory, collaborative design approach, the project has delivered a unique design on a tight budget that the client is delighted with.



34 Entrance View

Forecourt & Courtyard

Lobby Area


36 Living Room

Home Office


38 Living Room Shelving Unit

View Of Kitchen From Living Room


40 Kitchen & Dining

Kitchen Skylights

Staircase Glass


42 Staircase

Staircase Skylights


44 First Floor Skylight View

First Floor Hallway

Master Bedroom EnSuite


46 Master Bedroom EnSuite & Wardrobe

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom & Juliet Balcony


48 Family Bathroom

View Of Rear Garden


50 First Floor Outdoor Access

View From Above Skylights


List Of Consultants And Contractors Architect: Crawford Partnership, 1a Muswell Hill, London N10 3TH Structural Engineer: ADS Consultancy, 130 East Barnet Road, New Barnet, Herts EN4 8RE Quantity Surveyor: KM Dimensions, 31Batchworth Lane, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 3DU Energy Consultant: Stroma Built Environment Ltd, 6 Silkwood Business Park, Fryer’s Way, Wakefield, WF5 9TJ Party Wall Surveyor: North London Party Wall Surveyors, 54 Bittacy Rise, Mill Hill, London NW7 2HG Health & Safety Consultant: DCMS Consultants Limited, 27 Railway Street, Hertford SG14 1BA Building Control: Assent Building Control, Station Approach, Staines Upon Thames, Middlesex TW18 4LY Main Building Contractor: Solstice of London Ltd, 1a Acton Hill Mews, Acton, London W3 9QN 52

List Of Specialist Installation Suppliers free@home Smart Home Control by ABB Air Source Heat Pump by Groundsun MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) Vento Expert A100-1 S10 W V.2 by Blauberg Solar Photovoltaic Panels (5 x Neon 2 roof mounted panels) by LG Underfloor Heating by OMNIE Water Softner by Monarch Water Skylights by Velux Windows by Alufold Direct 53

Afterword Look out for the next Crawford Partnership book, coming in 2022. Photography Credit | Adam Butler Photography

At the time of producing this book, we were informed that Kenilworth had been shortlisted in the annual Build It design awards. We are delighted that the judging panel considered the project of sufficient merit to shortlist it, and we wait to hear which project is the winner in this category.