Expanding downwards

Compact holiday homeMedieval MonasteryCreating more spaceBarn renovationGround floor makeoverExpanding downwards

These clients had a tall house in the heart of a historic hilltop town and a courtyard garden. They wanted to create a separate library to house a much-loved collection of books, as part of an independent self-catering apartment for friends or rental guests.


There was no possibility to expand outwards so we went downwards into a musty cellar with access to the street and the courtyard at the back. The budget was limited and space at an absolute premium.

The result works well, with a spacious bedroom-sitting room with en-suite bathroom, minimal but functional kitchen are the library. Once cleaned up, the original stone walls brought light and architectural interest to what could have been a poky basement. Instead light floods in from both sides and enhances this ideal little pied-à-terre.