Wilson Residence

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Location: Kensington

Client: Private

Project Year: 2008

Cost: 500k - 2m

One of a group of beautiful neo-Georgian houses built circa 1915 and designed by the well-known Chelsea firm of Ashbee & Horner. The existing interiors were of little note and had been compartmentalised over the years. The brief demanded a lot in terms of time and scale; the house was to be fully renovated and refitted to the highest standards and finishes in a sympathetic character, whilst being discreetly modern in style. The original staircase of the house served only the three principal floors at that time.

The brief was to add a new top floor and basement level to the main body of accommodation. This involved a complete strip out and refitting of the interior. The new basement was fitted out with cinema, gymnasium, steam room, WC and shower. The rest of the house was reconfigured radically with the help of the engineers, with a new hall forming the heart of the square plan, over which an impressive, domed fibrous plaster ceiling now hangs and an elegant new staircase was inserted from the basement to the top of the house. The reception rooms wind around this new hall space in an effortless manner.

The courtyard garden at the rear provides a focus for all the ground floor rooms, its 'Zen-like' qualities providing a sense of calm and peace. The water features, designed in collaboration with Artist Andrew Ewing, provide focal points for the conservatory and dining rooms and a pleasant acoustic to counter the noise of the surrounding urban environment.

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