Mews house in Battersea gets facelift by Groves Natcheva Architects
London-based architects Groves Natcheva have completely transformed a run down, 20th-century mews house in West London’s Battersea into a stylish contemporary residence. The authors – a team headed by Adriana Natcheva and Murray Groves – are no strangers to creative reinventions in urban architectural settings. Their earlier offerings include the full redesign of two old mews structures in Kensington into a twin set of luxurious residences full of opulent materials and handcrafted details and fittings, and the careful facelift of an art deco villa in North London. With this project, however, the architects had to think outside the box.
The existing house was placed on a fairly compact plot, on a quiet, back street in Battersea, which was nevertheless quite centrally located. The clients wanted a modern home, so finding a way to gain extra space was key in the firm’s architectural solution.
The new structure is a simple box volume made out of blue bricks. Large openings (sporting Crittall window frames) are cut out of the front and back facades, flooding the interior with light. The architects dug down to add an extra floor, resulting in a comfortable 90 sq m in total for the whole house. The ground and lower levels host the house’s main living spaces, spanning sitting, dining, kitchen areas and a study. The lower ground also features a small but perfectly formed courtyard towards the back, which brings plenty of sunshine inside and creates a pleasing lightwell on the ground level. The upper floor contains the house’s bedroom.
Bathrooms, kitchens and the house’s entirely new feature staircase are executed with precision and design flair, employing careful joinery and luxurious stones and marbles to add a sense of generosity and richness. The exterior’s bricks meet raw plaster walls inside and exposed concrete on the lower level. A clean, white and fairly monochromatic colour palette and utilitarian detailing highlight the architecture’s modern minimalist aesthetic and ensure the interior feels airy and uncluttered.
‘The house is imagined as an oasis in the middle of the city, where all spaces are simple’, say the architects; a goal surely achieved. §