Since the founding of Airbnb in 2008 the online marketplace and hospitality services provider has come under ongoing scrutiny for undercutting local hotel prices and altering the rental structures of cities, which were highlighted in numerous studies and media outlets, such as the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45083954). However, despite the negative publicity, the platform has grown by 2018 to 5 million listings in 191 countries and 81,000 cities. While the benefits of encouraging tourism cannot be ignored, there is a concern that the loss of long term rental space to Airbnb has created yet further housing demand in cities across the World. The challenge is to create lettable, self-contained units, without depleting existing residential amenity.

The enterprising and resourceful approach of one of our clients, Liz Bolton, resulted in a brief for just that. Working with Liz, we discovered, hidden within the footprint of her 890 square foot flat and side passage, an opportunity to create a self-contained micro unit. This unit now offers a light and airy independent living space with bedroom, kitchen, sitting space and shower room.

In order to achieve this, HUB designed a new infill side and rear extension for an existing two storey outrigger, to make use of the neglected space. The self-contained living space created, has been designed with a glazed roof to maximise daylight use. The infill side and new rear extension add to the enjoyment of the existing building, allowing for a better spatial use and relationship to the external rear garden.

To make the practicalities of Airbnb hosting run smoothly, the extension terminates in a separate garden-facing laundry.


 “Thanks to HUB I now have a stylish income generating space transformed from what was previously a small dark bedroom and a sunless side-return used for plant pots. The space is now a light and airy micro apartment featuring a stylish bedroom, small but functional sitting/eating and TV area, galley kitchen and wet room!  And the piece de resistance is the separate laundry room!”  (L. Bolton, client)