Slimline 10ft Marylebone house: small but perfectly formed

Ruth Bloomfield
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Marylebone 10ft house
Only 10ft wide, the new Marylebone house has to be built above an alley to allow access to another home
At only 10ft wide it will never be a dream home for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia. But it could go some way to assisting with London’s housing shortage.

This is the first image of a proposal for a slimline three-storey glass house which will hover above a narrow alleyway between two mansion blocks in Marylebone. The use of such a modest space is a stark illustration of the pressure for building plots in the capital.

From the street the one-bedroom property, nicknamed “alley palais” will appear to “float” above the period red-brick entrance arch of Romney Mews, which runs off Chiltern Street.

The mews leads to another property, and raising the new house above ground level was vital to make sure it could still be accessed, say architects.

“We anticipate that a slender, lightweight steel construction will be built close to the walls of the two mansion blocks to support it,” explained Richard Webb, director of Webb Architects, who designed the property to a brief from Residential Facilities Management. “It is a fairly straightforward, buildable proposal.”

The scheme, which has been created for an anonymous private individual, is currently being considered by Westminster Council planners. If it is given the go ahead it could open the floodgates for homes to be inserted above other mews and passageways in central London.

The mews measures approximately 10ft across. Mr Webb said the small space was enough to create a workable home with an en suite bedroom, a kitchen diner and a living room. “We are not pretending it is a big building, but it is enough,” he said.

The hovering house has been designed with floor to ceiling glass windows to flood it with light, and Mr Webb hopes the shiny surface will reflect the redbrick buildings around it. “It will not really stand out,” he promised.

Access to the house will be via a set of steps in the alley, and for outside space a small terrace has been designed at the back of the building.

A council decision on the proposal is expected early next year.

However even when it is built the house will not be the slenderest property in the capital. Earlier this year a Victorian terraced house measuring just seven ft across was put on the market in Homerton, Hackney, for £275,000.

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