- Seth Stein Architects
A conventional facade with a modern interior creates seamless contemporary living in the heart of a historic district, environmentally-friendly mechanical systems included, for $8,596,125.
The frontage is a nod to the surrounding neighborhood, the Hillgate Village Conservation Area in Kensington and Chelsea. According to Domus Nova, this completely rebuilt home replaced a 1950s bomb infill: "The site provided the opportunity to take a traditional blueprint and expand on this, digging down and building up, using the original plot to the fullest." The resulting house, designed by the London-based Seth Stein Architects, consists of four levels arranged on two blocks, including a courtyard with terraces on each level, as well as four bedroom suites, ample living space, a small plunge pool, garage, and a separate, self-contained unit with a bedroom/study, kitchenette, and shower room.
Strategic glazing lets the house live large and extends alluring sight lines. The private courtyard is wrapped in glass-paneled walkways. Full-height glass in the breakfast nook leads to a small balcony while the master bedroom overlooks a rooftop garden.
Material choices offer understated luxury. Burnished gold-leafed walls in the hallway reflect light. Sand-blasted ash woodwork throughout—via the kitchen cabinetry, bookshelves in the study, and a bedroom panel that hides a television—convey warmth and texture. The plunge pool features a white gold mosaic while master bathroom elements consist of Gaya Brown limestone.
The architects also made significant improvements to the home's environmental footprint. Its energy and CO2 emissions clock in at Level 3 in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is a 25% improvement to current UK building regulation standards. Ten percent of the home's energy requirements are provided by solar water heating and a photovoltaic system, and rainwater is harvested for use with the bathrooms, washing machines, and outdoor irrigation.