Location: London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Completed: April 2017
Contractor: VSquared Design Ltd
Team: Michel Schranz, Franziska Willers,
Sarah Resch
Photography: Nick Guttridge

Elgin Crescent

This terrace in the heart of Notting Hill’s conservation area required total remodelling. Both, the front and rear façade are under the watch of conservation which gives very little room for external changes.

Due to heavy planning restrictions to all sides a basement was dug under the existing footprint of the main house and the lower ground was lowered by one meter. This created a five-story house with now ample of storage space, two principle levels for kitchen, dining, library and sitting room and two further levels for master bed & bath, dressing and another small bathroom with three smaller children’s bedrooms on the top level.

Vertical access was totally reconfigured and essentially split the house into 2 main parts: the upstairs, private bedrooms and the three lower levels with family, living & entertainment spaces and some utilitarian spaces underground.

The client had a clear idea of material palette and we worked well within it. We explored how we can make the stairs connective elements between spaces, but especially between levels; at each level we wanted to give a hint of the stair going down and the stair going up.

But also, we wanted the stairs to be generous & effortless to use, welcoming, intriguing. We hoped to sustain a playfulness without an expiry date and maybe they have become features – the timelessness we attempted to use for integration of our back extension to the existing rear façade, with its sunken terrace and adjacent garden. The garden connects and opens onto large, communal gardens, lending the house a sense of open space at the rear.