Going underground

June 27 2014

RESEMBLING something of a TARDIS, it is difficult to imagine what lies beyond one Redland property's rubble stone façade.

RESEMBLING something of a TARDIS, it is difficult to imagine what lies beyond one Redland property's rubble stone façade.

But beneath the ground floor, which encompasses a kitchen, lounge area and WC, are three bedrooms, two bathrooms - one of which is an en suite - and two courtyards. 

It is thought to be Bristol's first underground house. First floor interior

The unique property - located on Fernbank Road - came about after plans to build a two-story house were rejected by neighbours.

Architect Quentin Alder, who runs his own business in Sneyd Park, said: "We were approached by the current developer, as he knew we'd come up with a good idea.

"First, the planning application was refused, so we had to submit an appeal. We were then granted permission as long as the house was no higher than the garage roof."

He added: "I thought to myself, 'if we can't go up, then we will just have to go down'. It was a difficult construction as we had to build within restricted compounds, so there wasn't a great deal of room. But it's really great to finally see it finished."

Originally a forecourt and three garages, the property took six months to build. It is now on the market with Ocean estate agents for £495k.

The basement wall is made from reinforced concrete, a waterproof layer, and insulation to keep heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer.

The building has been designed to include double glazing, gas underfloor heating, high levels of insulation and eight solar panels on the roof.

Quentin said: "We wanted to make sure the property was as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible.

"The good thing about building a property underground is that there is a constant temperature, which will reduce heating bills."

Quentin Alder specialises in historic and listed buildings, as well as new buildings in sensitive locations.

The open-plan living room and kitchen area has floor to ceiling windows, and tri-fold doors opening onto the garden, and all three double bedrooms have doors which open out onto courtyards.

There is solid oak flooring throughout the property, with carpet in the hall and landing.

Bristol's first underground house?