I was faced with a very grim 1970’s basement garage. There was a damp light well at one end but other than that, no natural light. It was a basement entrance to 2 properties and needed smartening up.
The biggest challenge was the floor surface. It was cracked concrete panels and had a couple of ridges as it sloped down to the main entrance. It needed to be durable, smart and not create a squealing noise when cars came in and turned. We looked at various new concrete and resin products but I was aware of oil leaks and felt that a clean contemporary surface could quickly look shabby even if it was sealed, and having talked to technicians we also found they couldn’t guarantee a blemish free surface across the entire area.
Limestone cobbles or stets were the perfect answer. There would be no squealing sound, they were hard and durable, looked very smart and we could seal them. If any became extensively damaged, we could replace that area.
Knowing that cobbles aren’t the easiest thing to walk on, I created limestone walkways. The messy ceiling was vaulted having first ensured that all necessary pipe and cable work could be accessed. I created a vault to give a sense of height. Ventilation grills were disguised with raised veneer panels as was the wheelie bin and hose reel store. Concrete pillars were clad with limestone panels and had carved marks to look like massive tiles rather than one blank surface.
The lightwell was sealed and correct drainage installed. I found a bean tree being used for display at a local store, bought it and had it bronze coated. Local artist Merro Hyde created bronze leaves that we tumbled down the wall to break the space up. For the adjacent entrance door, I commissioned a bronze plait design to allow ventilation and security.
Lighting works on PIR sensors with an override and also bright task lighting over the parking bays.
Iron handrails were replaced with smart glass with chrome handrails.
The client loves it and have threatened to hold a banquet down there. I don’t know if they ever will!