Notting Hill Garden House

Context plan

Context plan

The Garden House is located in the back garden of an 1850s townhouse in Notting Hill, West London. It is sited towards the centre of a large green enclave of mature gardens under the canopy of tall trees.

Haus Lemke, Mies van der Rohe 1932

Haus Lemke, Mies van der Rohe 1932

Entrance at Great Dixter

Entrance at Great Dixter

The design reimagines a neglected, awkwardly-shaped plot at the end of the garden to create a sequence of new living spaces, both internal and external, that aim to make the most of their garden surroundings. The main house has a number of finely finished living spaces and the opportunity for the Garden House was to make something simpler, less urbane, but much more strongly connected to the garden, both physically and tonally.

A serpentine path leads from the main house

A serpentine path leads from the main house

Garden plan

Garden House and landscaping plan

Exposed structure and careful detailing showcases the simple craftsmanship of its construction while avoiding additional costs of applied linings or fine finishes. Generous window openings heighten the proximity of the outside, further enhancing the relationship between the building and its garden setting.

View of garden room from main entrance

View of garden room from main entrance

Photo: Emily Marshall

The Garden Room Photo: Emily Marshall

The material palette – mineral-washed brickwork inside and out, exposed ceiling joists, galvanised steel window frames, end-grain woodblock flooring – references more traditional garden buildings while at the same time creating internal spaces with a strong material character of their own.

Entrance lobby leading onto garden room

Entrance lobby leading onto garden room

Isometric view – General arrangement
Isometric view – Exposed brick walls
Isometric view – Galvanised steel windows
Isometric view – Exposed wooden roof structure
Isometric view – The completed shell

Isometric view – General arrangement

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Private planted courtyard

The main studio faces the length of the garden with large glazed doors looking back to the main house and another set of doors opening onto a private courtyard at the back, densely planted with palms and ferns.

Ancillary accommodation is organised in a second, narrower block in the corner of the site oriented along the north boundary wall. The bathroom is located at the back of the plan and has a south facing glazed doorway which opens out to the private rear courtyard. The front door is located at the junction between the two geometries, opening to an entrance hall from which all other spaces are accessed.

The bathroom opens out to the private courtyard

The bathroom opens out to the private courtyard

Notting Hill Garden House
Project dates

2018–2020

Use

Residential

Type

New build

Status

Built

Gross internal area

58 m²

Construction cost

£240,000

Client

Bodker & Company

Structural engineer

Form Structural Design

M&E consultant

EngDesign Ltd.

Quantity surveyor

Brendan Hennessy Associates

Photography

Emily Marshall; Nick Hill Architects

The Garden House is located in the back garden of an 1850s townhouse in Notting Hill, West London. It is sited towards the centre of a large green enclave of mature gardens under the canopy of tall trees.

It provides additional accommodation, complementary to that of the main house, comprising a flexible living/working garden studio together with ancillary facilities – a WC, bath/shower room and a small kitchen.

The walls are built in London stock brick inside and out with exposed timber roof beams throughout. Large window openings are sub-divided into smaller panels of a regular module with exposed galvanised steel frames and reveals.

The main studio faces the length of the garden with large glazed doors looking back to the main house and another set of doors opening onto a private courtyard at the back, densely planted with palms and ferns.

Ancillary accommodation is organised in a second, narrower block in the corner of the site oriented along the north boundary wall. The bathroom is located at the back of the plan and has a south facing glazed doorway which opens out to the private rear courtyard. The front door is located at the junction between the two geometries, opening to an entrance hall from which all other spaces are accessed.

The design reimagines a neglected, awkwardly-shaped plot at the end of the garden to create a sequence of new living spaces, both internal and external, that aim to make the most of their garden surroundings. The host property already offered a range of finely-finished living spaces so, with a more limited budget, the opportunity for the Garden House was to make something simpler, less urbane, but much more strongly connected to the garden, both physically and tonally.

The material palette – mineral-washed brickwork inside and out, exposed ceiling joists, galvanised steel window frames, end-grain woodblock flooring – references more traditional garden buildings while at the same time creating internal spaces with a strong material character of their own.

Exposed structure and careful detailing showcases the simple craftsmanship of its construction while avoiding additional costs of applied linings or fine finishes. Generous window openings heighten the proximity of the outside, further enhancing the relationship between the building and its garden setting.

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Nick Hill Architects
About

Nick Hill Architects is an RIBA chartered architectural practice and design studio based in London founded in 2017.

Through a series of early built projects the practice has established a particular sensibility for the characterful use of materials; how they are combined and the care with which they are detailed – whether objects, room interiors, individual buildings or the public spaces in between.

Our design is led by thinking about how people experience objects, buildings or places. Charles Eames said the role of a designer is like that of a thoughtful host who always anticipates the needs of their guests. We hold this to be true not just for the practical or everyday, but for the poetic, the delightful, or what Louis Kahn called the ‘unmeasurable’.

At a time of climate crisis and rapid demographic change, we find ourselves designing for a future that is increasingly uncertain. In response we are committed to finding ways of making and repairing that are both resilient and adaptable, with an economy of means as a central tenet in all projects, no matter the size or budget.

People

Nick has twenty five years’ experience working in architectural practices in the UK and in Hong Kong.

For more than ten years he was an Associate Director at David Chipperfield’s office in London, leading a series of high profile projects including two acclaimed new public galleries, the Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire and Turner Contemporary in Margate, as well as the rebuild and refurbishment of Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street, and the realisation of a masterplan for the Royal Academy of Arts campus on Piccadilly.

From 2017 he worked as a consultant to Witherford Watson Mann Architects, drawing on his experience working with public galleries and historic buildings, he led their major refurbishment of The Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House until its completion in 2021. The project was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2023.

Nick has been an invited critic and guest lecturer at architecture schools across the UK and in 2013 and 2014 was a guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard. He has served on competition juries and in 2013 was chair of the RIBA Awards jury for the East England region. He is currently an examiner for Part 3 professional studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

News
06.02.24
House for Two Artists published in AJ
04.12.23
Work progresses on site on Zakynthos
01.09.23
Hill Farm gains planning approval
05.06.23
House for Two Artists completed
19.03.23
Work starts on site on Zakynthos
05.10.22
Nick Hill Architects wins competition for coastal house in Greece
06.09.22
House London publication
01.07.22
Notting Hill Garden House wins Galvanizing Award
25.02.22
Work starts on site at Kidbrooke Grove
19.11.21
The Courtauld reopens to the public
21.10.21
Talk at the Royal College of Art
24.03.21
AJ Small Projects Award
25.01.21
Notting Hill Garden House published in AJ
References

A selection of reference images which inspire the practice’s work.

Applications

We welcome speculative applications sent as hard copy CVs with examples of work by post, or by email to info@nickhillarchitects.com (maximum 5mb).

Contact

Nick Hill Architects
Market 133a Rye Lane
London
SE15 4BQ

info@nickhillarchitects.com
+44 78 2446 3889

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