Having completed major restoration work to the rest of their Grade II Victorian home, our clients invited 13|55 to draw up plans to convert part of the property’s original brick-build cellars into an area for storing wine and for entertaining guests. The cellars date from 1852 and feature stunning brickwork, and a key requirement of our brief was to ensure all of their original character was retained.

Our design solution involved the conversion of 3 of the Victorian basement spaces, and required 13|55 to work very closely with our client’s building contractors, Mr & Mrs de Souza.

On descending the stairs from the main house, the cellar is accessed through a full-height glass door set into a floor to ceiling glass partition. Although the basement stays naturally close to ideal storage temperatures for much of the year, an air conditioning unit is fitted, with air being circulating via a conveniently located well chamber which runs right next to the cellar. The spaces between joists were infilled to help insulate the cellar, and a false ceiling was created to keep all wiring and plumbing hidden from view

The two main rooms are fitted out with bespoke units, hand-made to order from solid European oak, providing space to store around 2,000 bottles in total. In the tasting and entertaining area, we built a central island with a brick base to match the rest of the brickwork, topped with a single piece of solid slate – the same material used to clad a Champagne fridge housed in an arched alcove at the far end of the room.

Fully controllable recessed LED lighting in all areas of the cellar helps to accentuate the range of architectural features, and sets the perfect ambiance for any occasion. Finishing touches to furnishings in the tasting / entertaining room were added by our client’s interior designer. The cellar provides controlled storage for in excess of 2,000 bottles – and a unique environment for entertaining guests.

Charles came up with a complete design solution which sympathetically enhanced the existing features of our Victorian cellar. He was involved in all aspects of design and installation; we found him professional, personable and highly creative. 13|55 delivered exactly what was promised, and the finished product is exemplary. The end result is better than we could ever have imagined and is a real ‘wow’ feature of the house which all our visitors love! Thank you!
Mr & Mrs B, Edgbaston, Birmingham
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