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32 Oddesey Road, London, UK

Oddesey Road presented Bee Architects with a challenging opportunity: to try again on a site that had several failed attempts from a planning perspective, within the same unchanged context.

We knew that we needed a new approach and this change of perspective brought the first major redesign, namely we reduced the impact of the scheme by creating a sunken basement. This meant that only one storey was visible, greatly improving the visual impression. Our proposal became a two storey house with a sunken basement that has minimal impact on the streetscene and addresses outlook and privacy concerns, whilst at the same time creating a private space in the lower courtyard.

The second set of changes was to do with not only minimising impact but wishing to improve the site; this meant that eco-friendly features such as living walls and roof, rainwater harvesting and materials that had a low carbon footprint were incorporated in the design. This collective approach was a key element that in the end helped the local Planning Department to approve the design. It is not often where you can take a space and after creating habitat you deliver not only a great living space but also more green space and more biodiversity than when you started.

The house has clean lines and open spaces with large elevations of glass that bring in a flood of natural light and help connect the internal space with the outside. To ensure that it is a place that can be enjoyed by anyone, the house has accessibility features built in, from ground floor access to stairlift that makes the lower floor seamlessly available.

32 Oddesey Road proves that failed Planning Permission attempts can also become a positive point for change, where you work constructively with the local context and liaise closely with the Planning Department, understanding and addressing local concerns and needs.

Photos by ThomasJ

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