This five-storey renovation created an architectural portrait of a family within a traditional Regency terrace. The existing house was restored where necessary but a rich selection of new spaces was designed, featuring exquisitely detailed craftsmanship and material choices. London-based architects Groves Natcheva worked closely with the client, describing their role as being 'let loose inside their imagination' in order to shape The Town House into a contemporary interpretation of highly crafted Modernism.
The front facade retains its elegant anonymity within the confines of the surrounding terrace, reflecting the family's desire to stay low-key. Inside, however, it's a different approach. 'We've told a unique story using every tool at our disposal,' explains Adriana Natcheva, 'from the orientation of space and light through to the careful sourcing of materials and the bespoke design of every detail the hand touches, the eye sees and the ear hears underfoot.'
The Town House is a sensual delight, indulging the client's taste for the rich, detailed and mysterious at every opportunity. A new double-height domed circulation space was created in the heart of the house, changing the typical hierarchy of space found in period properties - where public rooms sit at the front and private spaces to the rear. Instead, the new hallway brings together the two floors of living space, flowing freely from front to back, up and down.
The additional space also allows the multi-level garden to be integrated directly into the living spaces, with access on both ground and lower ground floors. The layered exterior space is arranged as a series of terraces and designed in the same language, material and detail as the interior spaces - bespoke bronze handrails and richly veined marble. There's a sense of seamless continuity between inside and out, and the effect of weather on the garden adds another layer of patina.
The defining characteristic of the house is the marble, sourced directly from quarries in Italy and used to give each space its own independent character. Paired with wooden panelling, flooring and bespoke designed furniture and light fittings, no detail is overlooked. Spatially extravagant - with internal pool, twin studies, wine cellar, roof terrace and generous hallway - the house offered Groves Natcheva a unique opportunity to indulge in design at every level, from the choice of pattern, colour or veneer, through to individually designed light switches for different rooms and unique door handles, handrails and desks. Signature pieces, like fire surrounds, basins, baths, desks and countertops take the marble to another level, providing a unity and consistency of design that flows through the space.
The Town House is unique, a once-in-a-lifetime project that provided Groves Natcheva with a unique platform for architectural expression. It evokes the grand houses of the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco eras, a time when craftsmanship and materials reigned supreme and each project was a true statement of individual identity.