Status: Planning Consent March 2016
Start on Site: March 2017

With opportunities for a new-build house so rare in central London, Newground together with the client, has looked to unlock the potential of an unused parcel of land in the heart of a conservation area in Notting Hill.

The compact, infill house, nestles between a large Victorian corner property, a garden wall and a garage, long since converted to a garden room. The canopy of a magnificent lime tree in a neighbouring garden overhangs the site adding to the challenges of the context as well as inspiring the design.

Early consultation with Kensington and Chelsea planning department established that a single storey house in this location would be acceptable in principle, subject to detailed requirements including avoiding adverse impact on the nearby trees.

The combination of a small site area and planning height restriction, steered the design towards a two storey structure with living accommodation on the ground floor and the two bedrooms at basement level. The street façade uses secondhand stock bricks to match the adjoining structure and has a corresponding single opening in the masonry wall. The apparently single opening unifies the metal entrance door and a discreet window behind a metal cladding/screen. The seemingly abstract pattern of the screen engravings and cut-outs are in fact a magnified network of the lime tree leaf structure, providing glimpses of the street from inside and a dappled pattern of light on the pavement at night.

A glazed central courtyard links all the internal spaces and allows natural light to flood the interior. Glazing above the stairwell continues the theme allowing a slot of natural light across the full width of the plan. The plan occupies the entire site with the new basement extending below the external path and steps that lead to the entrance to the adjoining corner property which is owned by the client. As part of the project, the existing entrance arrangement is improved creating an enclosed hallway to accommodate the steps and placing the entrance door close to the street frontage.