A Hampstead home by Groves Natcheva brings art deco into the 21st century

Exterior of art deco house on Platt’s Lane Hampstead renovated by Groves Natcheva
An art deco residence on Platt’s Lane, Hampstead has received a thorough makeover by London-based architects Groves Natcheva.
(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

Dealing with a city’s existing fabric is an intrinsic part of the urban architect’s daily work and challenges. Groves Natcheva, a dynamic Kensington-based practice, knows this well. The firm has consistently created craft-based, sophisticated residences across the British capital, from mews renovations to new-build townhouses. So when it completed its latest residential offering – the redesign of a 20th-century home in Hampstead – its signature approach of confident, yet very refined design, was unmistakable. 

While the original architect’s name was unknown, the team knew the house had a fascinating history, being the home of German actor Conrad Veidt who was forced to emigrate to London in 1933 to escape the rise of Nazism. Dark brick and patterned tiles, as well as the house’s fairly formal presence (with its rectangular forms being set back from the residential street), create a subtle art deco feel throughout. 

The current client, a property development company, approached Adriana Natcheva and Murrey Groves in 2011 with the task to redesign the building to feel more open and also increase in size. The architects also needed to reconfigure the layout to suit 21st-century living.

A Hampstead home

(Image credit: Groves Natcheva)

Take an interactive tour of Hampstead House

The architects embraced the building’s inherent character. ‘We chose to engage with the existing building with a lightness of touch always, choosing to tell the story of the refurbishment within the fabric of the building. Great care was taken at the intersections between old and new,’ they say. Colours and materials were chosen to blend seamlessly with both parts of the house resulting in a consistent, well-balanced composition that hovers between Nordic simplicity and craft-based minimalism. 

Of course there were also changes to be made. ‘Our client showed a desire for a greater connection to the garden and there was a need to bring the house up to modern standards of heating and insulation’, recall the architects. They also gave the building a new roof (clad in bronze and tile), new brickwork at places and new windows, which ‘sharpened the edges of the house’, they add. 

The result? A thoroughly refreshed home, rich in detail and history and effortlessly mixing old and new.

external views of art deco house renovated by Groves Natcheva architects

The architects embraced the property’s character, while bringing it sublty into the 21st century.

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

inside the kitchen of hampstead house renovated by groves natcheva

The redesign opens up the space, rationalising the layout to fit the client’s lifestyle. 

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

Staircase views and the rear view of art deco house in hampstead

The brief also called for ‘a greater connection to the garden, and there was a need to bring the house up to modern standards of heating and insulation’, explain the architects.

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

light coloured timber was used in side art deco house renovated by groves natcheva

The team used a light touch, working with soft, light-coloured timber and taking extra care at the intersections of old and new.

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

staircase and roof views of groves natcheva-renovated art deco house in hampstead

New roofs, clad in bronze and tile, brickwork and windows, sharpen the edges of the house, say the architects.

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

inside art deco house in hampstead renovated by groves natcheva

Special attention was paid to detailing, resulting in an overall high construction and design quality.

(Image credit: Helenio Barbetta)

INFORMATION

For more information visit the website of Groves Natcheva

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).