London architect Studio Basheva

This north west London architects studio’s philosophy is all about creating simple, transparent and elegant designs alongside commercial viability, practicality and value.

Their work spans urban master planning, education and high-end residential refurbishments, with a focus on bespoke design to create spaces filled with natural light. Studio Basheva prides itself on working with clients to understand their wants and wishes from projects and meeting budgets on time.

Full architectural services are offered, from new build and refurbishment to residential and commercial properties. This firm offers three levels of service: a basic service providing design drawings for part of a house; a standard service following the RIBA Plan of Work (concept design, planning permission, detailed design and construction and handover) and a premium service, tailored to client’s needs which may include interior design and visits to showrooms.

We showcase one of Studio Basheva’s innovative designs

The Old Forge, a 19th-century dilapidated former forge located in the green belt around London, is now a modern and functional two-bed family house. The project began in 2017 and was completed in 2022. The site of the Old Forge, located at the end of a green street near two well-established local pubs, presented a unique challenge for the architect.

The building, originally constructed as an ancillary building to the main house in the 1840s, had been converted into an electrical power station in the 1950s and had fallen into a state of disrepair; there was even a tree growing inside. However, the potential for it to be transformed into a functional and elegant family home was immediately apparent to both the client and the architect.

The design concept centred on showcasing the original forge’s features while incorporating modern fittings to make it work as a residential property. The two original, still-functioning large furnaces were joined in an arch to a chimney, and these were retained and revamped to suit residential use. The roof support structure was exposed, showcasing the beautiful trusses and adding to the building’s industrial aesthetic. The spiral staircase, a unique feature of the building, was also retained and restored.

The process of obtaining planning approval for the project was elaborate, as the building is located within a listed cartilage in a conservation area. A dusk survey, a historical survey, and a tree survey were all required as part of the planning application. The architect made sure to retain all original features of the building, including the large format windows, while also incorporating modern amenities such as ensuite bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.

The original industrial furnaces were converted into smaller-scale residential fireplaces, which presented a challenge as neither the construction company nor the consultants had previous experience in this design and installation. The roof trusses, dilapidated over time, were also redesigned to accommodate the original roof angle and volume. The trusses are two different heights – one was lower in the central space on either side of the chimney breast to showcase the volume under the main roof. The second type of trusses was on the outer side, having a deeper span to allow head height into the study upstairs.

The rear garden of the property was also redesigned to allow for ample outdoor space, with a water feature added to enhance the overall aesthetic of the property. The client’s attention to detail was evident throughout the project, with small touches such as a light in the newly reinstated chimney and a special bee brick to allow local bees to nest in the final design. Overall, the Old Forge is a unique and successful example of how a dilapidated former industrial building can be transformed into a beautiful and functional family home. The architect’s skilful incorporation of original features and modern amenities, along with the client’s attention to detail, has resulted in a truly unique property.

Sustainable and innovative

RIBA chartered architect and urban designer, director Kathy Basheva has wide-ranging international experience and explained her firm’s ethos:

Elegance and timelessness achieved through refined choice of materials is at the heart of our designs. Passionate about design, we marry refined materials with bespoke detailing. Guided by ecological awareness, we embrace sustainable practices, seamlessly blending historic charm with modern elements. Based in bustling London, we thrive in a melting pot of cultures and trends. Here, we envision architecture as a catalyst for creativity and innovation, shaping dynamic spaces for a diverse clientele.

Our philosophy centres on simplicity, transparency, and functionality. Each project is a unique exploration, tailored to the lifestyles of our clients. With a keen eye on commercial viability and practicality, we aim to exceed expectations, one project at a time.

What we like about this London architects practice:

Studio Basheva appreciates the charm of historic buildings and creates amazing designs that retain their ambience and character, while making them desirable and practical for modern living.  

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