Open plan: Echlin debut Kenure House, a home centred on greenery
Openness and greenery are at the heart of every Echlin project, explain the young London-based design studio co-founders Mark O’Callaghan and Sam McNally, and their newest residential project is a true representation of that mantra. Created by the clever combination of three adjacent properties sitting on two parallel streets in West London’s Norland Conservation area, Kenure House is a clever transformation of a townhouse and two mews houses into a comfortable, modern family home.
‘Each façade tells a different part of the building’s history’, says O’Callaghan. ‘The front dates back to the 19th century whist the back is a completely new interpretation of a mews house. Neither shows a full indication of the contemporary and spacious home which lies beyond.’
Indeed, the plot created by this union is long but fairly narrow, giving an elegantly modest impression from the street’s carefully retained main façade. The house however spans an impressive 3,900 sq ft, five levels and five bedrooms, as well as several entertainment areas.
But its crowning glory sits with Echlin’s masterful handling of openings and natural light, in this narrow site that could have easily ended up dark and awkward. Light wells and courtyards dot the plans, while carefully removed walls and glass partitions ensure sunlight seeps everywhere that’s needed, even on the lower floors.
‘At Kenure House there is immediate access to outside space from most parts of the house,’ adds McNally, ’with four outdoor areas, and your eye is naturally drawn toward the green core.’ In total, there is over 650 sq ft of outside space in the house.
An entrance lounge, a garage and a large kitchen occupy the first floor; the main living area and two bedrooms sit on the first; while the second floor houses the master suite, dressing area and a roof terrace including a dedicate bath area. Meanwhile, a study area, two further bedrooms, a media room and utility area make for a lower ground level that doesn’t feel underground at all.
A rich material palette of marble, stone, linens, leather and timber create a tactile and warm interior environment. These are complemented by furniture that is either bespoke or carefully selected by the Echlin team, making this new London family house a true labour of love.