LABOUR OF LOVE
Westbourne Park Road, W11
When an architectural practice is given carte blanche on a project, it is really interesting to see what they can do with a space. A prime example is this beautiful maisonette in Notting Hill.
One of the first things that De Rosee Sa Architects did was approach the freeholder to ask permission to construct a mansard roof. They were turned down flat. For the next three years, De Rosee Sa let the property and continued to negotiate with the freeholder. At long last, he agreed and the practice applied for planning permission.
It was essential that the property maintained its beautiful proportions. As De Rosee Sa observed, the flat was “fairly wide, not too deep and had tall ceilings, which meant that it was spacious with a bright atmosphere”. In their design concept, they identified the importance of maintaining this atmosphere in the refurbishment. The team continued this sense of spaciousness on the new floor, by creating very high ceilings – unusual for a mansard roof – and installing roof lights where possible to bring in light. The new level was seamlessly linked to the existing flat via a new staircase that shared the same colour scheme and detail. The staircase led to a roof light that also served as the access point for the roof terrace. The Victorian features of the flat were preserved and where necessary new skirting boards and architraves were added, although the design is unashamedly contemporary. There is ample storage space in the living room, carefully hidden behind huge panelled doors. Interspersed between them are large bookcases and a cleverly positioned desk.
The same ingenious design extends to the kitchen which despite being quite compact offers more storage and food preparation space than most kitchens twice its size. The kitchen worktop is made of LG HI-MACS composite material, while the cabinets and shelves feature a walnut veneer. Like the rest of the maisonette, it offers a seamless, unified design.
Looking at the property now, it's clear that De Rosee Sa’s patience paid off and led to one of the most beautifully designed homes.
Discover more about De Rosee Sa Architects on the Domus Nova Architect Guide