Ultimate underground home leisure suite


Situated close to the desirable village of Alderley Edge in Cheshire UK, this project involved the conversion of a farmhouse and a number of small barns into a stylish contemporary home. Having secured the lifting of agricultural restrictions, our client then commissioned us to work on the space planning and full refurbishment of the property. The project was extensive with a requirement to link the disparate buildings together into one seamless property. This necessitated significant lateral thinking from our team to ensure the precedent character of the buildings was retained and that a natural flow through the extensive space was achieved. The design included a 6000 ft subterranean leisure facility served by natural light along one side and yet was strategically situated beneath the existing lawned garden!

The Brief

The brief involved a complete renovation and refurbishment of the property. The key challenge was to bring together the diverse elements within the plot to create a unique home which would offer the best of country living combined with all the facilities to be expected from a cosmopolitan residence. A key part of the brief was to design a spectacular leisure space to include a wine cellar, cinema, dance floor, bar, pool, changing rooms, steam room and sauna as well as a gym.

Details & Specific Points of Interest

This sprawling property was a monumental feat in intelligent space planning and design.  All of our team’s architectural design skills and experience were utilised to ensure a natural flow through the extensive space. It was also of paramount importance to ensure that the design schemes throughout the house were of a style sympathetic to the buildings and the environment, whilst also offering a distinct air of showmanship.

An area of particular note is the subterranean leisure and entertainment suite. Situated in an excavated area beneath the garden, it boasts panoramic full height glazed panels across the frontage, offering spectacular views over the Cheshire countryside. It is also an area of the house which abounds with unabashed decadence and opulent escapism.

Descending the staircase to the suite, the change in pace is immediately evident. A recess handrail with inset lighting illuminates the way, guiding the guest deeper on a sensory journey. The basement area is designed with staggered flooring levels, allowing for separate zonal spaces whilst still enabling each area to flow organically into the next.

At the base of the staircase, a sense of intrigue is maintained as the guest must turn before stepping down into cinema space. This area is a masterclass in skilful space planning, it is crafted to work equally well as a standalone room or as a walk through to the bar beyond  This dual function is facilitated by means of the intelligent positioning of a semi-circular rear wall which allows for an intimate feel whilst retaining the open plan flow. The semi-circular shape is artfully mirrored within the ceiling detail which features atmospheric halo lighting. Continuing the theme, the area is bedecked with a semi-circular sofa positioned around a circular ottoman set in front of the cinema screen.  Attention is given to every detail, for example, the projector lens for the cinema is hidden within a feature piece of artwork strategically placed on the rear wall, thus ensuring that the aesthetic of the space was not disturbed.

At the farthest side of the room, steps lead up to the bar area. This is styled with theatrical drama. The bar sits on a raised platform and is complemented by banquette seating which is positioned to offer a view over the pool. The bar itself is nothing short of majestic and is exquisitely sculpted to mimic the shape of a bullet tip.  Dramatic and graceful, it’s central position in the design scheme is reinforced with the use of coloured LED lighting which serves to change the look of the bar to suit the mood and occasion. Walls in polished plaster reflect the high gloss finishes used in the bar and cabinetry and further add to the feeling of unadulterated luxury.

The theme of decadent opulence continues into the pool area where the space flows up through three tiers towards the glazed feature wall overlooking the garden. The pool itself sits on the lower level where the hedonistic tone is set with the placement of two spectacular mother of pearl planters which are set against a backdrop of basalt stones, polished plaster and backlit onyx.  The hot tub sits on the upper tier and is highlighted by a palatial chandelier crafted from hundreds of illuminated lengths of chain which are designed to shimmer with a life of their own as the light dances off the water below. Framing the hot tub are two circular daybeds which offer a perfect view of either the pool below or the garden beyond the glazed panels. The sauna and steam room sit to one side of the space behind a tinted glazed panel which allows for privacy yet does not isolate the area from the wider leisure space.

Our team were instrumental in transforming a traditional farmhouse and outbuildings into a sumptuous, state of the art home with a leisure facility that would not be out of place in a chic, metropolitan hotel.

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