Bethany Hall, W10
Often, party pads are designed solely for the purpose of entertaining, which can leave the space a little contrived. Bethany Hall however, is a true original – and as rumour has it, the house has hosted some of the most outrageous parties on the block.
Situated on a quiet North Kensington side street, Bethany Hall started life in 1924 as a family-built chapel. It was a non-conformist chapel that held total immersion baptisms, a real throwback to the previous century. However, in addition to its ecclesiastical duties, the chapel also held a club for local children from the surrounding streets. A highlight of the club was the Magic Lantern parties with paste sandwiches, tea and singing. Thus began the building’s thirst for hosting parties.
For over 60 years, the building was used by the local community as a space to meet and greet, to get married and be laid to rest, as a place for people to get together and celebrate life. On a weekly basis, celebrations of one kind or another would take place here.
Bethany Hall kept up its duties to the community until it was sold in 1986 and converted into the incredible residential space that it is today. The addition of a large extension changed the triangular elevations of the building and increased the ground floor space to double its original size. The clever insertion of a first floor created space for bedrooms and bathrooms turning the building into an interesting and exciting family home.
A unique design decision to position an indoor swimming pool at the heart of the building added an additional dimension to the entertaining space which spans over 2,500 square feet, and also includes a well-appointed study for creative home working. The triple aspect reception room alone spans almost 50 feet and opens out onto a private garden and terraces which wrap around the building on all four sides. Huge, modern Crittal windows flood the space with light, emphasising its angular facets and pronounced architecture.
Upstairs the unconventional triangular elevations remain and the generous space has been unified as three double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a master bedroom suite providing a bounty of space for guests. The main guest bedroom also opens out onto a private roof terrace with delightful views onto the garden below.
The use of interesting and effective industrial and domestic materials throughout the building has given Bethany Hall a much loved creative air that lends itself well to the previous owners’ collection of sculpture and mid-century furniture. Expansive planes of the walls provide the perfect foil for artworks and a huge collection of books. It’s a great place to spend time no matter what the occasion.
To give it its dues, Bethany Hall isn’t just about being a great place to host a party. Its quiet residential location is just around the corner from the green open spaces of Kensington Memorial Park and Wormwood Scrubs. The building is within walking distance of Portobello Market, the antique shops of Goldborne Road and the boutiques of Westbourne Grove. It also sits on the edge of one of London’s most exciting regeneration projects, ‘Old Oak Common’ whose redevelopment includes new sports facilities, shopping and parks, hotels and stations for Crossrail and London Underground.
With its future secured through residential conversion, Bethany Hall looks set to start the next part of its life as part of London’s newest community.