The Old Sorting House

Stylus Architects

: Green Sheen Construction, Matthew Withers, Chris Snook Photography

The Old Sorting House was designed and developed by Stylus Architects for a private client located in South West London. The building is extremely unique in character, being an old post office that has subsequently been transformed into a modern family dwelling (steeped in the historic and material character of an existing structure).

The clients’ main objectives were to retain and enhance as many original features as possible, combining old and new throughout the design, and improving flow of the ground floor space in order for it to be better utilised. Stylus researched historical records and worked closely with the clients, being sympathetic to the building’s original form wherever possible. This required sensitive and complex restoration, posing a number of design and construction challenges along the way. The project involved a full internal strip-out of the property, with only the external walls and main load-bearing walls being left intact. The existing mezzanine and ground floor accommodation was fully removed (required from a structural as well as an aesthetic point of view) since the existing structure was not fit for purpose. It was replaced with an innovative cantilevering upper mezzanine deck to create a sense of drama and generate the appearance of the first floor accommodation floating over the kitchen area below. The project created an opportunity to enhance energy efficiency by introducing a variety of sustainable interventions such as PV panels, battery storage systems, new electricals, an integrated heating and cooling system and green technology.