Camden | Residential architect projects

At GOAStudio London residential architecture we have extensive experience with working with the Camden planning department and we are familiar with all the relevant planning policies that might apply for your home project. Please see below links to some of our Camden residential architect projects.

Your personal requirements, the setting of the property, and the immediate context of the property are some of the factors that will determine what home alterations the Camden planners will be prepared to allow. We will advise you about what is reasonable to expect to get approval for, what might be tricky but still possible to get approval for, and what most likely the planners will say no to.

According to the latest Camden Council residential design guidance these are some of the key considerations that will determine the outcome of your planning application. Below we have copied and highlighted extracts of the most relevant current policy and advice for your home project.

EXAMPLES OF SOME OF OUR CAMDEN RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT PROJECTS – PLEASE CLICK THE LINKS BELOW FOR IDEAS AND INSPIRATION

 

Architect designed rear house extension Tufnell Park Camden NW5 Rear Elev 200x200 Camden residential architect projects
Residential house extension and refurbishment Finchley Road Camden NW6 View along media wall 400x284 Camden residential architect projects
Kings Cross Camden NW1 House extension External view and detail 200x200 Camden residential architect projects
Chalk Farm Camden NW5 3QB Flat rear extension Rear elevation 200x200 1 Camden residential architect projects
Finchley road Camden NW3 Flat extension Design floor plan 2 Camden residential architect projects

Summary design and planning guidelines  | Camden residential architect advice

 

CAMDEN CONTEXT – YOUR HOME AND SURROUNDINGS

Camden is a diverse and dynamic Borough with rich built and natural environments. The Borough contains many neighbourhoods each with their own distinctive identity and characteristics. Its architectural heritage is vast and the Borough has many buildings and places of architectural or historic importance.

The Borough has a rich architectural heritage with many special places and buildings reflecting Camden’s history. There are 39 Conservation Areas, covering almost 50% of the land area, which recognise their architectural or historic interest and their character and appearance. Further guidance on the character of each Conservation Area is included in Conservation Area Statements, Appraisals.

HOME

These measures are to ensure your living conditions are improved by the proposed changes to your home. They should be closely adhered to for all residential extensions or alterations except in circumstances where the proposal would contravene any of the other key principles concerned with neighbours and the wider community.

Regardless of the type of alteration or extension you are planning there are some basic principles that you should consider:

  • Respect and be complementary to the original character of the existing building;
  • Design spaces to be functional and adaptable for a range of uses, such as social gatherings, rest and relaxation;
  • Ensure rooms achieve a good quality internal environment that benefit from adequate natural daylight, outlook and ventilation;
  • Ensure that the space is usable and accessible to people with varying abilities;
  • Consider sustainable measures within the design that maintain and improve your living conditions;
  • Ensure extensions and alterations are safe and secure.

SUSTAINABILITY

There are certain measures that you can introduce along with the proposed changes to your home to make it more resilient, increase its energy efficiency, reduce your bills and carbon footprint. You should consider these along with the other key principles.

Regardless of the type of alteration or extension you are planning, there are some basic standards you should consider:

  • The orientation of your home and where the most appropriate location for an alteration/extension would be;
  • The size and design of your proposal, a larger extension may not always be the best solution, so consider your internal and external space requirements and the climate impact, such as maintenance costs (heating), use of materials and their embodied carbon, and the resulting quality of the external/garden space;
  • The quality of materials contributes to the overall efficiency and long term cost savings, particularly important for insulation and new windows/doors;
  • The installation of insulation and inclusion of renewable energy measures such as photovoltaics, solar thermal, and heat pumps can improve the comfort of your home, reduce your carbon footprint and overall bill costs;
  • The incorporation of green infrastructure as insulating material but also to improve the biodiversity, overall visual appearance and your wellbeing.

HOME IMPROVEMENTS

The changes you make to your home should always improve your living conditions. The following home improvements relate to the most common types of alterations and extensions and explain how the key principles apply within each. Make sure you consider all key principles when designing your scheme, as they are all material considerations in the officer’s assessment of a planning application.

All homes, gardens and their context are different. Therefore, whilst your proposal would be expected to comply with the guidance, officers will apply this flexibility and every planning application will be assessed on its own merits.

MATERIALS

Materials are integral to the architectural design, appearance and character of a building. The choice and use of materials and finishes therefore plays a crucial role in any alteration and extension given their impact on the appearance and character of a home (and Conservation Area if applicable).

In order to be acceptable by Officers, materials should be:

  • CONTEXTUAL – The texture, colour, pattern and finish of materials (detailing) should relate well to the existing character and appearance of both the existing home and the wider area, particularly in Conservation Areas and listed buildings.
  • RESILIENT/DURABLE – Choosing a material that stands the test of time is crucial as there are many benefits to this. It would be affordable long term, it saves embodied carbon, and it would become part of the character of the property given its lifespan. The durability of a material should be appropriate for the expected lifetime of the building/element.

GROUND EXTENSIONS

There are several different types of extensions at ground level that you could consider to extend your home, depending on your housing type: terraced, semi-detached, detached.

As part of your preparation to extend your property at ground level, a preliminary site assessment is recommended, to consider the following:

  • The existing rear elevation and any previous extensions to it;
  • The rear elevation’s visibility and prominence in relation to gardens, streetscene and wider area;
  • The pattern of development of neighbouring buildings to include historic extensions and new types of development;
  • Other rear extensions present at the neighbouring buildings which obtained permission through a planning application or permitted development.

REAR EXTENSIONS

Depending on where your home is located, there are times when the rear of a building may be architecturally distinguished, either forming a harmonious composition, or visually contributing to the townscape. Where architectural merit exists, the Council will seek to preserve it when it is considered appropriate. Some of the Borough’s important rear elevations are identified in Conservation Area Appraisals.

In some cases, a more innovative design approach could address specific site constraints and in others, a structure that matches the existing home may better respond to the existing context. It is recommended that pre-application advice is sought where it is unclear what design approach would suit the host building.

There are certain considerations that should be taken into account when designing a rear extension to ensure it is sensitively and appropriately designed for its context. Rear extensions should:

  • Be subordinate to the building being extended, in relation to its location, form, footprint, scale, proportions, dimensions and detailing;
  • Be built from materials that are sympathetic to the existing building wherever possible;
  • Respect and preserve the original design and proportions of the building, including its architectural period and style;
  • Respect and preserve existing architectural features, such as projecting bays, decorative balconies, cornices and chimney stacks;
  • Be carefully scaled in terms of its height, width and depth;
  • Allow for the retention of a reasonably sized garden;
  • Respect and duly consider the amenity of adjacent occupiers with regard to daylight, sunlight, outlook, light pollution/spillage, and privacy;
  • Ensure the extension complies with the 45 degree test and 25 degree test as set out in the Amenity CPG – or demonstrate BRE compliance via a daylight test;
  • Consider if the extension projection would not cause sense of enclosure to the adjacent occupiers;
  • Ensure the extension does not cause undue overlooking to neighbouring properties and cause a loss of privacy.
  • Consider opaque lightweight materials such as obscured glass on elevations abutting neighbouring properties, in order to minimise overlooking;
  • Not cause light pollution or excessive light spillage that would affect:
  • neighbouring occupiers, including to those above where a property is divided into flats;
  • Wildlife on neighbouring sites, particularly near sites identified for their nature conservation importance. Consider the use of solid lightweight materials such as timber, one-way glass or obscured glass, in order to minimise light pollution;
  • Respect and preserve the historic pattern and established townscape of the surrounding area, including the ratio of built to unbuilt space;
  • Retain the open character of existing natural landscaping and garden amenity, including that of neighbouring properties, proportionate to that of the surrounding area;
  • Have a height, depth and width that respects the existing common pattern and rhythm of rear extensions at neighbouring sites, where they exist.

SIDE EXTENSIONS

When designing a side extension be aware that given its likely visible location in relation to the streetscene, it could have a greater impact on the host building, group of buildings and wider area. Gaps between buildings could help to soften the urban grain and provide visual interest and it is important you consider existing trees and vegetation within the design of the proposed extension.

In some cases, a more innovative design approach could address specific site constraints and in others, a structure that matches the existing home may better respond to the existing context. It is recommended that pre-application advice is sought where it is unclear what design approach would suit the host building.

There are certain considerations that should be taken into account when designing a side extension to ensure it is sensitively and appropriately designed for its context. Side extensions should:

  • Be set back from the main front elevation;
  • Be secondary to the building being extended, in relation to its location, form, footprint, scale, proportions, dimensions and detailing;
  • Be built from materials that are sympathetic to the existing building wherever possible;
  • Respect the dimensions of the existing front porch, where applicable;
  • Respect and celebrate existing architectural features into new design, where they make a positive contribution to the character of the building or groups of buildings, such as projecting bays and porches.

ROOF EXTENSIONS

Extending the roof to make it a habitable space is one of the most common and affordable types of development. There are times when only a small alteration, such as the installation of a dormer window could make your loft space habitable by providing more space and headroom.

As part of your preparation to alter or extend the roof of your property, a preliminary site assessment is recommended, to consider the following:

  • The existing roof form and any previous extensions to it;
  • The roof visibility and prominence in relation to gardens, streetscene and wider area, considering land topography;
  • The pattern of development of neighbouring buildings to include historic extensions and new types of development;
  • Other roof extensions present at the neighbouring buildings which obtained permission though planning application or permitted development.

A successful roof extension would consider the overall roof form of the existing building, adjoining buildings and impact in key views (when relevant) and be proportionate to the roof slope being extended.

The previous guidance presented a hard line approach of restricting development at roof level on any unbroken roofline. Under this guidance, a more flexible approach is proposed, to give more weight to existing older extensions and to those allowed under permitted development, in the immediate context of the building being proposed for extension, within and outside Conservation Areas.

Not every unbroken roofline is of heritage value and therefore it is not worthy of preservation.

NEW ROOF LEVELS

Extending properties with a new storey at roof level is a well established method to increase the useable space of properties. This type of extension would retain more space at ground level available for greenery, garden storage and outdoor activities.

The most common type of extensions to the roof are mansards, traditionally associated with Georgian or Victorian buildings, as the existing roof structure with front parapets or valley roofs allow for a simple insertion of a new level in this traditional form.

In general, a traditional approach for mansard extensions would be preferred for traditional buildings. You are also encouraged to think about different approaches to additional roof levels. It is recommended that pre-application advice is sought where it is unclear what design approach would suit the host building.

 

 

GOAStudio | London residential architecture and interior design is an award-winning practice, specialising in architectural services for residential projects in the Camden area.

As your local Camden residential architect our team aims to provide a friendly and professional service for your home project. Our approach is based on carefully considering the particular aspects of each scheme before coming up with a creative way for you to instil your unique stamp on what we do and how we do it. Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Appoint us for Camden residential architect projects in the following areas:


N19
(Dartmouth Park)
NW1 
(Camden Town, Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, Somers Town)
NW3
(Belsize Park, Hampstead, Swiss Cottage)
NW5
(Gospel Oak, Kentish Town)
NW6
(Kilburn, South Hampstead, West Hampstead)
NW8
(Lisson Grove, St John’s Wood)
W1 
(Fitzrovia, Soho)
WC1
(Bloomsbury, Kings Cross, St Pancras)

Name and origin

Both the borough and Camden Town are named after Charles Pratt, 1st Earl of Camden, who owned land here in the late 18th century. Camden Place was his seat in Kent, itself named after William Camden who lived in the property from 1609. [Londonist.com]

Camden planning department

You will probably need planning permission if you want to build something new, make a major change to your home – e.g. building an extension, or change the use of your property. There are different rules depending on what you want to do and the relevant planning policy that applies to your property. At GOAStudio we have a proud record of dealing with the local authority planners and building control inspectors and we are on hand to assist with your application and successfully handle every stage of your project.

For more information about the Camden planning department, policies and requirements please click the link below to be re-directed to Camden council website.

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We see ourselves as creative problem solvers who will deal with any construction, planning, and design matters relevant to your project.

Contact Details

 
GOAStudio London Residential Architecture Limited
Company number 12217624 England and Wales
 
GOAStudio @ Hoxton Mix |
86-90 Paul Street | EC2A 4NE | Hackney
 

Brooksby Street | N1 1HA | Islington

t: 0203 984 3005

e: [email protected]

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