The Survey of London is the closest thing there is to an official history of London’s buildings. Founded in the 1890’s it is essential reading for anyone who wants to know about the history of London’s streets. It also serves as a record of all listed buildings in the Capital and is a reference tool for local planning offices, when considering the effects that change might have on an individual property and its surrounding area.
Clarendon Road is one of those streets where historical, architectural merit is heavily governed and so development is challenging to say the least. However Thomas Croft Architects managed to overcome the obstacles on this particular project, a classic Victorian corner house reinvented as a sleek and contemporary family home. The whole terrace is Grade II-Listed and so many of the homes there are a juxtaposition between old at the front and new at the back.
When Thomas Croft Architects first became involved with the property it had been bought by downsizers who had sold a larger property on the same street. They wanted a fresh start and a home that would reflect the next phase of their life but didn’t want to move from the area that they knew and loved. We asked how Thomas Croft Architects was able to help their client reinvent their living environment. Thomas Croft explains, “The house had already been the subject of major works by a great architect but the architecture was tired and somewhat dated by the time it was bought by our clients. Our approach was to reinvigorate the property."
“My favourite tailors on Savile Row have a concept called 'The London Cut' which is all about comfort, wearability, elegance and good construction. I like to think we do the same thing for London houses.”
“With this project we reorganized the interior layout which was somewhat compromised in the previous design. We returned the layout to something much closer to its original blueprint. We've done many similar projects in W11 over the years & this property is a compendium of some of the best elements of our architecture.”
A challenge from the start, Clarendon Road is a street that has been scrutinized by planners in Kensington and Chelsea where regulations have tightened over the past few years. Thomas explains, “One element that was strictly governed was the rear of the property where a large glass roofed extension was created. It’s a new elevation for the property and incorporates the same period detail that features in the rest of the house. We think it works really well and by locating the kitchen, a family room and a substantial garden room on the lower-ground floor, the raised-ground floor was freed up to create a double-length reception room.”
“Upstairs the elegant proportions of the bedrooms and bathrooms emphasise the ceiling heights and the huge windows and the whole house hangs really well together. It is a comfortable and modern family home that combines elegant period detailing with contemporary elements.”
Clarendon Road is one of the most sought-after streets in Notting Hill, meeting Holland Avenue at its southern end intersecting Lansdowne Rise close to prestigious Clarendon Cross. The gentle curve of the crescent and its candy-coloured houses and mansion flats are regularly depicted in film and TV and cited as the epitome of highly desirable London living.
View Clarendon Road currently for sale through Domus Nova
Thomas Croft Architects, 9 Ivebury Court, 325 Latimer Road, London W10; thomascroft.com