In the past London has been quite unforgiving in its creation of homes to fill gaps. At no time was this more prevalent than just after the war when beautiful terraces were obscured by a quick infill home of no architectural merit. This was the case on Hillgate Street, one of Notting Hills prime roads that bridges its neighbourhood with that other exclusive London neighbourhood of Holland Park.
The first home in an established terrace of late Victorian architecture, this house had been cheaply and quickly created sometime in the early 1960s on a site that had previously taken the brunt of a WWII bomb. Unlike other prolific architecture of the era, this house was a poor pastiche of its neighbours. It had been in the sightline of London architect Seth Stein for sometime and when the opportunity arose to buy it, the practice snapped it up, even without a client in mind.
Starting from scratch gave Seth Stein the chance to make use of every inch of the former blueprint, growing the property downwards to add an extra 700sq ft to the original size. There was also scope to future proof the house with the most recently launched energy saving features and really use the new architecture to creatively grab additional light and implement passive ventilation which is so difficult in a property of this style.
From the front the house needed to retain the existing street line but there was scope to integrate a multi-purpose garage space, which would also serve as a party room. Directly below this, a self contained flat/guest suite can be accessed independently of the main house and occupies one half of the newly created basement space. Overlooking a small courtyard garden, the northern end of the lower ground floor has a media/gym room with a plunge pool and steam room. Throughout soft polished concrete floors and walls create an almost womb like living environment.
This theme continues upstairs to the ground floor where the kitchen and central living space combine. With almost 50% glazing at this level you are very aware of the outside. Harsh light is reflected by a wall of polished gold leaf that was a vanity project for the architect who believes that its impossible for anyone to fail but look good against it.
Upstairs the blueprint is mirrored and there are two ensuite bedrooms including a master suite with a dressing area and study and domed bedroom. A further guest suit is located on the second floor.
Additional space has been secured in the rebuild by relocating the staircase to the entire left hand side of the building. Laid out in American Oak, this creates a definitive architectural feature of its own. The staircase can also then effectively be hidden away on each floor.
Where this property really excels is in its commitment to architectural detailing. Exquisite craftsmanship has been employed which has elevated humble storage to new heights.
Now complete, Seth Steins indulgences at Hillgate Street are now (sadly for him) for sale through Domus Nova
. As a luxury London residential property it offers an unparalleled living experience where great design meets new technology in a property which will self adapt to whatever the future throws at it.