Belvoir Terrace


Improve upon the flow of spaces within the building, enable visual continuity throughout the design from the formal spaces to the East of the house to the living spaces and pool to the West.

The design should enhance that which already exists while creating viable living spaces for an eight member family in the 21st Century.

Lighting to the darker depths of the plan form is critical whilst rationalising the circulation.

The structure is to be as free flowing as the spaces it encompasses.

A large contemporary open staircase is to replace the existing, allowing light to penetrate into the heart of the house and a view from the entrance spaces to the Living spaces, garden and pool beyond.

The design is to have a style and elegance that stands alone and yet gives to the existing, which is to be sympathetically restored with all the window openings and façade articulation maintained on the East and South elevations.

The extensions to the West are to employ a very simple palette of materials: glass, lead, sandstone (or similar). With the exception of the lobby the multi-level Living spaces and kitchen are to be open plan and on the same level throughout the entrance storey, which will allow free movement for the elderly and disabled members of the family as well as posing few hazards for toddlers.

The sympathetic addition of a much needed main stair will encourage light to penetrate to the heart of the building. The only contemporary addition to the upper storey is a simple transparent structural glass box, framed by the brick string detail of the West facing façade. All the remaining additions are either at basement or ground floor level deliberately to lessen the impact on the nineteenth century house. In fact, the ground floor extension will be difficult to see beyond a number of mature trees and a splendid garden wall which forms the site boundary on the Southern flank.

The impact of the pool roof structure upon the neighbours coupled with a need to produce a structure which will cope with a humid environment has driven the contemporary design of the pool pavilion. Deliberately dislocated and divided by a ribbon of glazing, the roof is designed to give sufficient volume within the pool space with reduced shading of the neighbouring properties.

The ground floor is deliberately kept at the same level with a view to the future use of the house, but more immediately the safety of Mr. & Mrs. Hart’s young children and elderly relatives.

A disabled access is proposed at the side entrance in the Northern façade and wholeheartedly supported by the Cambridge Access Officer. A platform lift would sit just inside the door to allow for a few steps difference in levels at this location.

Again the upper floor is rationalised by putting all the accommodation on the same level, with particular attention to the demands of modern building regulations and the high specification demanded by the Client.

The house will take advantage of ventilation and heat recovery systems throughout, with a ground source heat pump allowing the underfloor heating and pool to limit their use of energy.

Circulation space both vertically and horizontally has been kept to a minimum, with the staircase allowing a transition between the old and new, linking the formal with the informal.

The design endeavours to marry early 19th century with 21st century by considering the flow of spaces, vistas and light penetration as one moves from the grandeur of the Georgian facades to the low relaxed living spaces that address the garden.