Loads of Color Define a Revamped 1960s Townhouse in London

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By Iain Aitch
A couple rework a house in a development by Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew.

Charlie and Lucy Barda’s townhouse in the Holland Park neighborhood of London is steeped in modern architectural history. It was built in the late ’60s as part of a development designed by Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. The married architects envisioned buildings across the globe, working alongside the likes of Walter Gropius and Denys Lasdun, although they are perhaps best known for teaming up with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret to create the Indian city of Chandigarh from scratch in the early 1950s.  

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The spray-lacquered MDF kitchen was made in construction team Produk’s wood shop <br>in Lithuania. A custom table from British designer James Burleigh joins a pendant from Hand and Eye Studio and chairs by Hay.&nbsp;

The spray-lacquered MDF kitchen was made in construction team Produk’s wood shop
in Lithuania. A custom table from British designer James Burleigh joins a pendant from Hand and Eye Studio and chairs by Hay. 

It was another pioneer who was the inspiration for the four-story home’s recent update, which includes a bright new color palette, a kitchen extension, and a dramatic oak and powder-coated-steel staircase. "My architectural hero is Richard Rogers—everything about his work is joyful," says Charlie of the British visionary famed for codesigning the Centre Pompidou in Paris. "I believe the environment you create should make you feel open-minded and happy. Rogers’s work does that. His first project was Wimbledon House, for his parents. It’s from the same era, and it’s very yellow. That was our jumping-off point." 

Produk also built the steel-and-oak staircase, which homeowner Charlie Barda helped design.&nbsp;&nbsp;

Produk also built the steel-and-oak staircase, which homeowner Charlie Barda helped design.  

"The first thing that struck us was that it was designed for its time. We wanted to open the space and create this hub." Amrit Marway, architect

The hallway tiles are by Domus.&nbsp;

The hallway tiles are by Domus. 

Architecture for London translated Charlie’s vision into reality, with an assist from the studio Liddicoat & Goldhill, which helped find the perfect yellow for the kitchen. Lead architect Amrit Marway’s family heritage helped her appreciate the history of the house. "I grew up in a similar era of property in Nairobi," says Marway. "My grandfather manufactured replicas of midcentury furniture." The result is a classic home lifted into the 21st century with its integrity and modernity intact. 

Jon Needham of Rochlin Bespoke created the cherry lacquer headboard in the master bedroom.&nbsp;&nbsp;

Jon Needham of Rochlin Bespoke created the cherry lacquer headboard in the master bedroom.  

Bath time is never dull for the couple’s two young children, thanks to bright orange Interni tiles by Domus.

Bath time is never dull for the couple’s two young children, thanks to bright orange Interni tiles by Domus.

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