Cheyne Walk House
Gallery
In Brief

Client:
Private

Location:
Chelsea, London

Construction value: 
Confidential

Completion:
December 2015

A simple new family home, located in a historic street in Chelsea, designed to make full use of its position and views, close to the River Thames.

FCBStudios have created a new 259 sqm, 3-bed single family home, arranged over four floors. The site previously contained a run down and much altered former stables that was most recently used as an artist’s studio. The new house aims to retain this studio atmosphere.

 Cheyne Walk is in the designated Cheyne Conservation Area in Chelsea and dates back to the 18th Century. The street has had many notable residents over the years, including the writer George Eliot, the painter JMW Turner, Silvia Pankhurst, and more recently Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Our aim was to use simple materials and proportions to provide spaces and volumes evocative of an artist's studio, whilst retaining a similar massing and footprint to the previous building and the daylight and sunlight requirements of the adjoining properties. 

Access to the property is through a private courtyard, giving a generous welcome to the house. A spacious double-height living area is provided at ground floor level. The kitchen/dining and living areas are linked to the external courtyard by a set of sliding glazed doors, which open the whole of the ground floor into one large space. Careful consideration was given to bringing natural light into the new spaces - the staircase running along the northern end of the building means that all the habitable rooms of the house can enjoy a southerly aspect, despite the building’s narrow floorplan.

Dramatic corner windows on Blantyre Street give uninterrupted views across to the River Thames, while the northern elevation has long windows which bring light into this vertical space and give views of a mature plane tree behind the house. A large opaque window at the base of the stairs lights up at night, giving a sense of the life of the house going on behind it, but preserving the privacy of those inside.

Sustainability

Reminiscent of traditional riverside structures, the house is built from CLT and benefits from reduced embodied carbon in the fabric of the building. Designed to meet Lifetime Homes and London Housing Design Guide standards, it incorporates a number of sustainable design measures, including:

- Efficient mechanical ventilation and heat recovery
- High thermal mass
- Energy-efficient lighting and controls
- Minimised water usage
- Sedum roofs at top of building and second floor level.