Adventures in Space
Walking to the house, a five minute stroll from Wandsworth Common, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re not in the Zone 2-3 border of an inner London borough. There are no vernacular Victorian terraces here, nor can the sound of jets approaching Heathrow be heard. Instead, I’m greeted with a 1930s semi-detached street giving the feeling of leafy suburbia, an area belying the busy nearby Trinity Road linking Wandsworth Bridge with the hustle and bustle of Tooting Broadway.
Hum-drum, you may think. But the Swinhoes have transformed what was a pebbledashed and rather tired-looking home with an overgrowing jungle to the rear into a spacious family house that breathes light and looks stunning. They credit the success to their architects, Dust Architecture, and their developer, PVA Developments, who have seen the project from concept through to completion. They believe that without the help of these local companies the achievement wouldn’t have been possible.
“We knew Vitas Poshkus, the man behind PVA Developments, from a project we did in our previous house. We chose him because he’s someone who’s straightforward, realistic and honest. We got the feeling that we could trust PVA to do the job we wanted, on time” said Alice
And do the job they did. The house has a sinuous flow to it from the front door through to the garden. The ground floor is comprised of a study, front room (which they’ve chosen to be the kid’s space) and a spacious, open-plan kitchen and living area with underfloor heating. This opens out, through fully-retractable concertina doors, onto a decking area and garden, creating an indoor/outdoor environment that’s perfect for entertaining as well as children’s games.
What’s surprising is the space that they’ve managed to create with the help of Dust Architecture and PVA. The house doesn’t appear to be that large from the outside but the inside is like a labyrinth, with open rooms conducive to family living.
The couple, who have three young children, worked with Dust Architecture to tender the job out to other building firms but what PVA offered couldn’t be beaten in terms of value and service. Alice told me they wanted something contemporary but it had to work for the family. ‘Vitas was full of ideas; he really knows what works,’ Duncan added. ‘The quote was detailed, itemising what we were getting. Vitas also has a great relationship with suppliers and was able to recommend people and ensure we were getting a good deal.’
PVA achieved the complete remodelling of the house, from gutting it to the full finish, in around five months which surprised the Swinhoes. ‘We couldn’t believe how fast they did it. The quality was never compromised, problems were rectified quickly and the workmen were professional and hard-working, always keeping to time.’
Upstairs has three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor, culminating in a grand, en-suite master bedroom on the top floor with another room which could be used as a fifth bedroom or dressing room. The Swinhoe residence is flushed with light and space throughout, which Dust Architecture and PVA have executed brilliantly. ‘It’s changed our lives — we now have a spacious and workable family home without having to move away from London!’