The F1 Tycoon and the Garage

When you purchase a home you often look at the potential of the property and make a decision about your ideal living space. This is the same whether you are buying a flat for £200,000 or a sprawling country mansion for £20 million.

Some houses have extensions, some have loft conversions and some have basement living spaces. While in the past we have earned our wings becoming are experts in all aspects of architectural design, our speciality is the latter. We’ve seen it all. We’ve designed underground playrooms, granny annexes, games rooms, storage facilities for art, wine – you name it.

Storage is king

So, when former F1 tycoon Ron Dennis bought his beautiful property in Virginia Water, he was probably very happy with the amount of storage it came with – especially the detached garage for his collection of exotic cars. However, as with any house of any size, storage is at a premium and we all tend to acquire new things which require a bit more space.

In Mr Dennis’ case these new things are cars.

Basement Garage

According to the Daily Mail, the former McLaren chief has had planning application for a 230ft basement approved, in which he plans to house his collection of cars. The basement is said to include a revolving turntable and elevator in order to access by car.

To some of us this might seem a little superfluous but, when you consider that just one of his exotic cars is a McLaren valued at around the £5m mark, you can understand his desire for a special storage facility.

According to Mr Dennis, the basement garage will be used to store his regular use vehicles; a Mercedes, Range Rover and a couple of his favourite sports cars. The rest of his priceless collection is stored in a special facility.

Merely and extension?

The basement garage is not the only subterranean area of Mr Dennis’ property. The main house includes an underground swimming pool, cinema, bar, spa and a wine cellar. The new garage will include an art gallery and a workshop to top off what would be a truly stunning area of the property.

In prime spots in London, we have seen basement excavation boom over the last 20 years or so with more and more people digging under their homes to gain an extra floor – sometimes this has extended to a couple of floors. In prime areas of the capital it is often more cost effective to dig under a house than to move and relocate.

Out in the greenery of Virginia Water, there is considerably more space in which to build and so it’s no wonder Mr Dennis has chosen a basement to create the added garage storage he needs. While there is plenty of room on the estate to extend his existing garage, digging under the property will not affect the aesthetic of the original property.

According to reports there has only been one complaint from a neighbour, which is miraculous considering more conventional extensions often drum up multiple objections from surrounding home owners. Are we about to see a trend start in Virginia Water?

A common addition

While this kind of project sounds quite extravagant, in our experience it’s fairly common place. We’ve actually been involved in designing a few underground garages and in fact, have one on the go now in Berkshire, local to us. A fully air conditioned, 80 car garage with lift and turntable being installed under a stable block for a private collector. Disguised by the original stable block, no one would know it’s there, it’s very Bruce Wayne!

Get in Touch

If you are thinking about a basement project or extending your property this year and want to create something truly stunning, make sure you give us a call. We are the leading specialists in basement conversions and design. You can call us on 01628 826066 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for all the latest updates.

Feature image – Maranello By MarKord / Shutterstock

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