CHELSEA TOWNHOUSE

OLD BROMPTON ROAD

Whatever is goode in its kinde ought to be preserv’d in respect for antiquity, as well as our present advantage, for destruction can be profitable to none but such as live by it.

ARCHITECT
Nicholas Hawksmoor

D*Haus were invited on a spring day to come and visit what was a dilapidated old town house on the famous Old Brompton Road.

The building was in a bad state, with problems of damp, cracking and tiredness everywhere and had not been renovated since the 1970s. Apart from the condition of the building, what became very clear was that the spaces were inefficiently laid out. When we first saw the property, there was a restaurant on the ground and lower basement, then studio flats on the first and second floors with a one bedroom flat on the third floor.

DHaus won the job by assuring the client that we could create 2 x 2bed flats on the first and second floors and a brand new 3 bedroom flat on the third and new fourth floor. We approached planning very cautiously with a pre planning app first. RBKC as a planning department are notoriously hard to get new designs through, however that was not the case and we worked closely with the planners to assure them that we would maintain the period features of the building and where new additions were made, assured that conservation style elements were retained to make sure everything was in keeping.

To create the additional living areas in the flats we needed to reconfigure the central staircase that ran through the building, as the existing one took up a large area and create a rear side extension. We also added valuable living spaces to roof space by lowering the ceiling of the existing third floor to create a new loft room at the top of the building.

We are very proud of the new design and return in value for our client.
‘’Old Brompton Road is a major street in the South Kensington district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London

It starts from South Kensington tube station and runs south-west, through a mainly residential area, until it reaches West Brompton and the area around Earl’s Court tube station. It runs through the SW5 and SW7 postcodes.

There are several 5-star hotels and upmarket shops along the road. One of the most famous auction houses in the world, Christie’s, is located near the eastern end of the road at number 85.

The Coleherne pub (now The Pembroke), located at number 261, has become infamous for being the stalking ground for three serial killers, Dennis Nilsen, Michael Lupo and Colin Ireland. It is also mentioned in the song ‘Hanging Around’ by The Stranglers, as well as in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City book Babycakes.

Another landmark of the road is the Troubadour which has been a cultural hub for over fifty years. The coffee-house above, now a restaurant, has hosted the founding of Private Eye and the writing of many books, while the club below has been a venue for Bob Dylan and Adele.

The most famous resident was Diana, Princess of Wales before her 1981 engagement and subsequent marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales. She shared a flat with three others before subsequently moving on to Clarence House, the home of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The road is sometimes confused with Brompton Road which lies further to the east, in Knightsbridge.

The heathland village of Brompton was first recorded in 1294 and its name derives from Old English words meaning ‘farmstead where broom grows’. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s coat of arms is topped with a sprig of broom representing Brompton.

The marshy ground was drained in the 16th century and converted to fruit gardens. The Brompton Park nursery was established here in 1681 and has given its name to the Brompton stock: a large, usually red, biennial variety of the species Matthiola incana.

From around 1800 the area between Hyde Park and Brompton Road began to be developed in a piecemeal series of small streets and squares. Brompton Square was laid out in 1821, in a shape resembling something quite different from a square.

In response to the village’s tumescence, the Anglican church of Holy Trinity Brompton was built in 1826–9 on the site of a burial ground belonging to St George’s hospital (which was then located at Hyde Park Corner and is now in Tooting).

The area south of what used to be the continuum of Brompton Road and Old Brompton Road was originally more socially varied. Almshouses and working-class cottages have long since been replaced by grander dwellings, with architectural influences ranging from Tudor through Flemish to Italianate.

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