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Candle-making inspires façade design of SPPARC’s mixed-use development


The 1,600m² development in Kensington consists of three floors of office space with four apartments above

SPPARC has completed 145 Kensington Church Street, which is in a conservation area, for joint developers Savills Investment Management and Unbranded.

The façade draws its inspiration from the candle-making history of the local area. The distinctive elongated and triangular elements are intended to resemble aspects of the candle-creation process in which wax is heated in a dipping container. The precast panels were specially developed for the building and contain a quartz aggregate, designed to give a shimmering effect to the façade.

Kenchurchst 1 (1)

Kenchurchst 1 (1)

The office space, which fronts directly on to Kensington Church Street, is served by bike storage and shower facilities at basement level. The residential apartments, which occupy the second to fifth floors, are wrapped by floor-to-ceiling openable windows, with interiors finished in white-washed oak. A rooftop terrace is accessed from one of the two lateral apartments, while the two duplex apartments each open on to balcony spaces. 

Kenchurchst 53

Kenchurchst 53

Architect’s view

We are delighted to have completed this prominent contemporary building within the heart of the Kensington Conservation Area. The scheme balances matters of scale, material quality and functionality to achieve a building which has distinctive architecture while sensitively cohabiting with the surrounding heritage context.

Trevor Morriss, principal, SPPARC

Floor plan residential (1)

Floor plan residential (1)

Third floor plan

Project data 

Start on site January 2015
Completion October 2017
Gross internal floor area 1,627m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 1,775m²
Form of contract Single-stage Design & Build shell and core and traditional JCT fit out
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect SPPARC
Client 145 Kensington Management Limited
Structural engineer Pell Frischmann
M&E engineer Capita
QS Gleeds
Interiors SPPARC
Landscape architect SPPARC
Fire engineer Pell Frischmann
Project manager Paragon & Rise
CDM coordinator Rise
Approved building inspector Assent
Contractor (shell and core) Prime Construction
Contractor (interiors) Garenne Interiors
CAD software used Revit
Annual CO2 emissions 24.14 tonnes/year (32.5 per cent saving from Part L)


Readers' comments (2)

  • The concept behind the façade is truly fascinating

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  • The concept behind the facade is not apparent, and the impression is of a top-heavy structure that manages to be fussy and clumsy at the same time, incorporating A-frames standing on a thin first floor cornice, competing for attention with the hefty slivers that presumably more closely reflect the actual structure.
    As for being in a conservation area, conserving what?

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