KENSINGTON PARK ROAD
The restoration and extension of a period listed house.
This beautiful London terraced house at the most sought after junction in Notting Hill was quite literally falling apart. Cited by a local conservation officer as the worst example of a listed house falling into disrepair, the property was no longer manageable for its elderly owner and was bought by an investor wanting to preserve its external architectural detailing whilst fully realising the potential for additional space inside. A comprehensive restoration and redevelopment project saw the complete reconstruction of the front façade to mirror the rest of the terrace and the realisation of a five bedroom, four storey family home which was sensitively modernised and updated for future generations.
Architecturally the Victorians were famous for tackling the problem of heat retention in the home. Developing a warren of rooms that spanned a building front to back in narrow formation, they were also early adopters of more densely developed urban landscapes.
However in the 21st Century where we recognise the importance of light, this style of home presents us with a catalogue of limitations.
Before any of this could be tackled though there was the crucial matter of rebuilding the house. The reaction from a conservation officer from Kensington and Chelsea council was one of disbelief that the property was still standing. Staggered that a listed building in a smart London borough could have been allowed to fall into such disrepair, his initial reaction to the prospect of the property being refurbished was one of relief, that someone would take on the essential repair of a home that completed an historic terrace. Before any work could commence inside the house, it was essential to rebuild the façade to exactly meet the brick stock, iron work and architectural detailing of the rest of the terrace.
Once complete, listed building caveats on the house weighed in and dictated that the existing footprint had to stay the same. Externally adding to the building was never going to meet with planners requirements so to manage client expectations additional space was created by excavating below ground to add an additional 450 sq ft to the home. Creating a multifunction urban interior, the cinema/media room in the basement also works as a guest bedroom suite with an independent shower room.
The exposed brickwork of the kitchen on the lower ground floor continues through to a wine cellar that would once have been a coal store. The kitchen, designed by Cubic portrayed the studio’s love of industrial design, combining stainless steel, slate and glass.
A double aspect formal sitting room on the first floor has carefully restored original doors, bespoke flooring and lighting made by Cubic. The room is flooded with light through the addition of huge steel framed windows, which create an internal winter garden room enclosed at the rear of the property. Bedrooms and bathrooms on the two upper floors feature bespoke cabinetry and the same studio designed chandeliers.
The house was a huge project and planning extended to tens of thousands of pages of submission, each one needing to meet with both local and listed building permissions. To ensure that the project could begin and work could flow, planning was staged to keep the project going and to allow building officers to see the quality of work as the redevelopment evolved.