Georgian house bulthaup kitchen - architects in Westminster

Architecture for London has completed a number of bespoke homes in the City of Westminster. Our architects create beautifully crafted, sustainable properties with a considered design approach.

If you are seeking architects in Westminster, we will be delighted to assist. We have significant experience working with the local authority, having won planning consent for residential projects in a range of conservation areas and other heritage settings in the borough.

At Albion Street in Bayswater we extended and refurbished a historic Grade 2 listed Georgian house. A three-floor rear extension in brick and blackened oak provides a new guest bedroom, kitchen and first-floor home office. The high-specification, hand-applied finishes included black ebonised oak, black dyed leather, black patinated steelwork and raw lime plaster inspired by the client’s Japanese furniture. A Bulthaup kitchen is given pride of place in the ground floor front reception room.

The house was rewired with a sophisticated AV and IT system featuring integrated speakers and digital lighting controls to all rooms. A cinema room with bespoke joinery and furniture is located in the basement, with integrated AV equipment.


View Architecture for London’s portfolio of residential projects in Westminster.


Architects in Westminster

Recent projects in the borough include house extensions, refurbishments, mansard roof additions, and the substantial rebuilding of a large mews house. Our architects work in all areas of Westminster, including:

Westminster planning policy

Architecture for London has worked on numerous projects in Westminster and have expertise in local planning issues. The borough has helpful guidance for homeowners, including a number of residential design SPGs concerning works in conservation areas and advice on the protection of historic buildings.

Belgravia house extension
Belgravia house extension

Building in conservation areas in Westminster

There is a wide diversity of housing stock in the borough. This ranges from 20th-century social housing, some of notable quality, to large areas of eighteenth and nineteenth-century architecture, often stuccoed terraces, with mews streets behind.

The great estates had much influence in the development of Westminster, with Belgrave Square and others forming impressive set pieces.

Thomas Cubitt’s vision for Belgravia was one of elegant taste in the Regency style. Cubitt designed streets and squares with buildings unified to form the impression of large palazzo façades, rather than being identifiable as individual terrace homes.

The estates of Mayfair, Marylebone, and Belgravia were largely developed in the 1700s. Westminster’s connection with the industrial heart of England, facilitated by the Regents Canal in the early 1800s, led to significant further development around the canal, Paddington, and Victoria stations.

Commonly, the prospect of building in an area of such architectural significance is seen as laborious and wrought with bureaucracy. However, with the assistance of an architect possessing in-depth knowledge of planning and design procedures, retrofitting projects, and even new builds become feasible.

Listed building consent in Westminster

With over 11,000 listed buildings in Westminster, there is a good chance that your property or an adjacent property is recognised as being of special architectural or historical interest. To find out if a property is listed you can use Westminster Council’s listed building database.

Building work of any scale that might affect a listed building’s character requires listed building consent. This rule is relevant to all kinds of projects and encompasses both the interior and exterior of the structure. Engaging in alterations to a listed building without securing prior consent from the council constitutes a criminal offence, irrespective of whether you were aware of the building’s listed status.

If you intend to undertake modifications to a listed building, it is advisable to seek pre-application advice to ensure a clear understanding of the required permissions or consents.

Maida vale extension architect mansard
A mansard roof extension in Maida Vale, Westminster

Basements renovations and extensions in Westminster

Basements

Basement extensions are increasingly common throughout London and the high value of property in Westminster means there is significant pressure for this type of development.

Due to the borough’s proximity to the river, there are, however, some locations that are unsuitable for basements due to flood risk issues.

 

It must be established whether there is a flood risk before proceeding with an application for basement excavation. Difficulties may arise if the property is located in a flood risk zone or a surface water flood risk area. Basements will not usually be supported in flood zone 3. In flood zone 2, basements may be supported if appropriate mitigation measures are undertaken.

The Basement Development in Westminster Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) gives a comprehensive overview of the planning issues concerning basement developments in the borough. Westminster architects should be aware of this publication as it sets out a number of technical design and construction criteria that should be adhered to when submitting a planning application.

Westminster house extension - georgian
A Georgian house extension in Westminster

The SPD aims to make sure that the environmental impact of construction is monitored and carefully managed.

To maintain adequate planting and surface water drainage in the garden, a minimum of 1m soil depth plus a further 20cm drainage layer will usually be required over basement extensions.

 

Where a basement is proposed for a single house (rather than a flat) that is not a listed building, the proposal may fall within Permitted Development Rights if it meets certain design criteria. In this case, a planning application may not be required.

Westminster architect house design
Black oak joinery at Westminster House

Roof extensions

Westminster also produces helpful guidance on roof extensions, for example adding an additional storey with a mansard roof. Detailed maps are provided illustrating where roof extensions are not acceptable (without exceptional justification). Where they may be considered acceptable, further detailed advice is given on the appropriate design and detailing of roof extensions.


View Architecture for London’s portfolio of residential projects in Westminster.