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FIRST LOOK

Hampstead flat opened up in £300k refurb by Urban Projects Bureau

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This project for furniture designer clients incorporates a simple palette of materials – including a line of marble-topped joinery tying spaces together

Located in the Redington and Frognal conservation area in West Hampstead, Chesterford Gardens consists of a full remodelling and refurbishment of a first-floor flat in a Victorian property. 

Previous renovations had destroyed original period features and created a confusing warren of rooms. Urban Projects Bureau has opened key views and axes throughout the flat, rationalising circulation, creating simpler connections between front and back, and overall making a clearer arrangement of spaces.

Kilo 0241 0008

Kilo 0241 0008

Two large aluminium-framed glass double doors have connected the new living and dining space to a central hall, library and bedroom, making the flat open-plan and allowing light and air to flow through.

Urban Projects Bureau collaborated with a range of suppliers and manufacturers to achieve a continuous lime-coated, European oak chevron floor unifying the main living spaces, bedrooms, study and circulation spaces. A line of joinery with a honed marble surface connects the open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas – continuing into the main bedroom to create a bench, hearth and reading area. The kitchen is also finished in anodised aluminium, with a bespoke goose-grey quartz work surface and sink.

Kilo 0241 0010

Kilo 0241 0010

Architect’s view

The project comprises a refurbishment of a first-floor flat in a large red-brick period house in West Hampstead, to create a contemporary family home for our clients who are international furniture designers.

Previous adaptations to the property throughout the 20th century had damaged the layout and proportions of the apartment, destroying key openings and views, creating a dark and disconnected series of rooms. Our aim was to make a clearer arrangement of interconnected spaces – we removed several false walls and ceilings to reinstate the noble proportions and decorative qualities of the original Victorian architecture, and sensitively inserted new contemporary architectural features including fireplaces, fixed furniture, kitchens and bathrooms.

We worked closely with a number of material suppliers, manufacturers, joiners and furniture designers to create a series of bespoke interventions, such as free-standing furniture, lighting, door handles and sinks. The built-in joinery and beds were designed with Koop; specialist white aluminium door handles were manufactured with Joseph Giles; bespoke pendant light fittings with Viabizzuno; and loose furniture with Faye Toogood.

Alex Warnock-Smith, director, Urban Projects Bureau

Upb ch proposed ground floor

Upb ch proposed ground floor

Client’s view

We approached Urban Projects Bureau to design our family home in Hampstead. The original flat was dark and the layout did not work but the ceiling heights were generous and location perfect. Working closely with the architect, we chose to restore the qualities of the original building while introducing a calm, contemporary high-specification home

The new layout is perfect – the entrance hall now connects the front and rear of the flat, providing wonderful natural daylight and great views of the gardens. Whereas before we were standing in a small separate kitchen, now we can come together in an open plan kitchen, dining and living space which also opens up to a library and studio. The rear bedrooms have regained their proportions with inbuilt storage and services.

Upb ch proposed internal elevations 02

Upb ch proposed internal elevations 02

Unfolded elevations: living and dining

Project data

Start on site June 2016
Completion July 2017
Gross internal floor area 135m²
Construction cost £300,000
Cost per m² £2,222
Contract JCT Intermediate Works (Traditional)
Architect Urban Projects Bureau
Client Private
Structural engineer MBOK (Michael Baigant Orla Kelly)
Approved building inspector Assure Building Control
Main contractor Dimension Builders

Urban Projects Bureau

Urban Projects Bureau

Urban Projects Bureau

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