Portobello Road, London

The site was previously occupied by two modest Victorian houses with shops at ground floor. These were demolished and replaced with two contemporary houses. Both houses have three storeys, one of which is set in a semi-basement formed with a reinforced concrete box. Above ground floor the houses have a loadbearing masonry structure with a timber joisted first floor. The party wall between the two houses is framed with steelwork which develops into cantilever roof sections either side of the party wall. Each cantilever sits above a glass clerestory and consequently great attention was paid to predicting deflections of the framework in order to avoid damage to the glass. Access to and work on site were restricted due to the narrow width of Portobello Road at this location plus the difficult party wall constraints around the perimeter. Each house has a staircase from ground to first which has been formed in steel plates and struts. These take support from a continous steel plate stringer set within the party wall finishes. The applied timber finishes contribute to the stiffness of each tread. The design of each staircase is a modern expression of a traditional cantilever stone staircase. 

Completed 2005.

Mandeville Estates

Alan Power Architects



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