They say you can never judge a book by its cover and this spectacular property on Ladbroke Road, which has been designed by Cubic Studios, is a perfect example of why. Bound up as a classic English Victorian terraced villa on a tree-lined street in Notting Hill, inside the building reads as contemporary New York industrial loft. The perfect combination for anyone inclined towards both types of architectural language.
The difficulty in creating architecturally exciting properties in Central London has increased in recent years as available sites become fewer and conservation limitations are raised. Reinventing the wheel is an exciting way of creating surprise and this is one house where you really do get a complete contrast on either side of the door.
Cubic Studios is renowned for pushing boundaries in design and its refined skill in achieving the impossible has been made possible in this house. Central to the core is a steel and glass staircase that spans five floors, in the basement there is a swimming pool and at the top of the house the master suite has polished concrete sanitary ware, which was cast on site. Each design decision has been thoroughly examined and perfectly executed. Quinton Gilbertson of Cubic Studios explains the ideas behind the adventurous design decisions and why they went to so much trouble. Quinton begins, “Victorian architecture is among the most desirable in the world. Ask anyone outside London what they think of when they think of homes in the London and chances are they will perfectly describe this property on Ladbroke Road.”
“However this house had had an unconventional history, having been part of the Mercury Theatre and so we wanted it to continue to present the exciting and unexpected. As a practice, we love the boldness of New York’s commercial spaces and the combination of raw natural finishes and felt that the strong bones of this house could take a complete transformation.”
Quinton Gilbertson continues, “As a team we prefer to design specifically for each project and this was no exception. We chose just a handful of raw materials and developed our own specific finishes to complement them. Baltic hardwood for the flooring was cut in deliberate longer lengths for the floors throughout and we used the same wood for the stair treads on the staircase which is integral to the design of the house. Having this uniformity that spans all five floors anchored the central design of the house. Because of the depth and texture we also applied the same wood to the kitchen cabinetry which we have offset with one solid sheet of opaque glass and heavy metal door furniture. Sanitaryware needed to be complementary and polished plaster added another depth of colour and texture so the sinks, and baths were all manufactured bespoke to absolutely fit the spaces they were assigned to. Playing around with composition we were also able to use this material to front the storage in the dressing area of the master bedroom. Everything we have done here is exclusive to this property.”
And the pool room. Is this the ultimate indulgence? “No, the basement pool is an added bonus to make very logical use of a previously unloved small, north-facing garden which fought with neighbouring houses for light”, explains Quinton Gilbertson. He continues, “The pool is an all-year facility and it is a bit of an in-house luxury but I was thinking equally of the pleasure my kids would get from it, when it was designed.”
“The end result is exactly as we envisaged it. The dual aspect rooms are light filled and the texture and depth of the flooring and the beauty of the specialist finishes that we have used change as the angle of daylight alters throughout the day. The house is like a comfortable, residential gallery space and we hope its architecture will be revered and enjoyed in equal parts. “
Ladbroke Road is part of an exclusive neighbourhood of classic Victorian and Georgian houses tucked behind Notting Hill Gate, rolling down the hill into Holland Park. Divided over five floors there is a pool, spa and self-contained bedroom suite on the lower-ground floor, which has the benefit of its own private entrance. The ground floor is a stunning kitchen and informal living and dining area which has the original doors that would have taken you through to the theatre. The sitting room is a huge double-aspect space with two further bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor and a master bedroom suite spanning the top floor, with views over west London.
This is a really unique opportunity to buy a special, bespoke house. No two Cubic Studios projects are ever the same and once this one is gone, it’s gone for good.
View Ladbroke Road currently for sale through Domus Nova.
Cubic Studios, 13 Hewer Street, London W10; cubicstudios.com