Emperor’s Gate, Kensington

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Location: Kensington, London


Project Year: 2014

Cost: Over £2m

Our clients were living in a ground floor period mansion flat in Emperor’s Gate, South Kensington. When the one above and the one below came up for sale the opportunity to create one large bespoke family home was one they couldn’t pass up.

The vision was to seamlessly join the three floors together with a beautiful sculptural staircase and to transform the new top floor into a luxurious bedroom suite with balconies overlooking the square below. Small courtyards in the basement act as light wells and allow their young children a space to play outdoors.

The challenge was to reconfigure the internal structure of all three floors and link them to create a comfortable three story family home.

The building has been transformed into a unique family dwelling, combining contemporary architectural features whilst enhancing the property’s period pedigree. The interiors have been lovingly restored and enhanced with one-off pieces sourced from around the world and the finest fixtures and fittings throughout.

Dyer Grimes Architects created a stunning centre point to the house bringing the three floors together via a generous atrium and sculptural feature staircase. Our designs provided views and light to the centre of the plan, linking the generous living room at ground floor with the open plan kitchen and dining room, and courtyard spaces in the basement.

The basement makes use of a new polished concrete floor which reflects the light which pours in from the elegant Crittal doors to the courtyards. The concrete makes a great conductor for underfloor heating - which gently warms the home. The original brickwork has been exposed and white washed to provide texture to the space. A designer kitchen has also been installed with an island unit made of a beautiful charcoal coloured stone with visible fossils.

The feature staircase is inspired by Bauhaus movement, with a slender metal handrail and balustrade with glazed infill panels. The staircase was manufactured in the Netherlands and shipped over - one of the large windows on the ground floor had to be removed to install the stair.

Hanging beside the staircase are a series of unique light fittings sourced and shipped directly from a designer in New York. The lights are linked to a Lutron lighting system that allows them to be controlled from a smart phone.

The living room on the ground floor has been enlarged and opens onto the staircase. The front facing windows have new motorised blinds concealed within the window panelling, whilst a new fire place has been installed with rough brickwork echoing the basement.

The first floor has been transformed into a luxurious master bedroom suite with a bespoke dressing room, designer bathroom, sitting room and a roof terrace – true 6 star luxury. The 14ft ceiling heights have been maintained and provide a fantastic feeling of space. High quality bespoke joinery has been installed with a fully fitted dressing room and two ingenuous cabinets in the master suite sitting room which are disguised as a panelled wall but open to reveal a mini bar and useful storage.

Crittal doors are used to link the bedroom with the ensuite and the sitting room.

In the ensuite bathroom, a Tadelakt render, antiqued mirrors and stone tiles made by Italian craftsmen from lava stone mined in Denmark work together to create a stunning room.

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Unique interiors offset period features

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Kitchen includes natural stone with visible fossils

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