Working on listed buildings is always a privilege. Watching the layers of history being peeled back to reveal the original fabric and retaining, honing and (if necessary) replacing and matching the features that give a building its Grade II listed status is always a demanding process. As well as a good understanding of period construction and detail, it requires fastidious recording and scheduling alongside careful consideration of structural and building control issues.
When Fruition Properties took on a former backpackers hotel located in two adjoining buildings in the Garden Square, HUB were approached to assist in the restoration and to design a scheme that could deliver six high-end apartments. Closely liaising with heritage specialist, Kevin Murphy of KM Heritage and the local Planning Department, HUB managed to gain Planning Approval for a specification including cooling with condenser units and extended lower floors. The brief also demanded some careful integration of services and structural elements alongside carefully considered circulation that could retain the graceful spacious rooms on the first and second floors.
At the same time Fruition were keen to interweave contemporary fixtures, bathroom pods and open plan kitchens by Roundhouse. All aspects required careful negotiation with the Conservation officers at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Most importantly, retaining the aspect to the garden square was critical for the success of these very unique apartments. Overlooking the square at the front, the principle rooms can celebrate John Ruskin’s mantra:
“…the measure of any great civilisation is in its cities and the measure of a city’s greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and squares”.