London Residence – West Kensington

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London Residence – West Kensington


Client: Private


This renovation transformed a small, generic London flat into a spacious loft where the character & patina of previously hidden Victorian features are celebrated & contrast against contemporary elements. This was achieved by eliminating walls & ceilings to expose the original roof & newly installed structural ring beams. The leaking roof was stripped to its rafters so modern slate roofing could be installed and a rear portion of the roof could be raised to create a mezzanine that adds 1/3rd more internal floor area.

Originally a 550sf generic, decaying, and moldy one bedroom flat that had been uninhabited for 10 years, everything was stripped down to the joists & brick walls exposing the original 16ft(4.5M) wood roof and its soot-coated  joists. Maintaining this extraordinary space with its unique historical character became the key design decision from which everything else followed including the reconfiguration and consolidation of the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom into one corner of the floor to maximize the living room space and volume.

The spacious loft aesthetic was created by eliminating ceilings & exposing the original 16ft(4.5M) roof and new structural ring beams. The leaking roof was stripped to its rafters so new wood decking, waterproofing, insulation & slate tiles could be installed to meet current regulations. The roof’s rear portion was raised to create a mezzanine.

Our goal was to expose as much of the original materials as possible to create a finish palette and environment of aged patina contrasting with new contemporary, but warm finishes with character. The original Victorian wood floor planks were sanded down and re-sealed, while roof beams were scrubbed and those that were no longer needed were reclaimed to build custom furniture used in the flat including a sideboard, desk and the kitchen’s wooden bar.  New walls and furring were left unpainted, exposing the hand-rendered plaster finish while the existing London brickwork in the party walls were exposed to celebrate it’s unique character & history. The bathroom contains a combination of limestone tiles and copper colored slate tiles & granite counters.

The project was delivered in a design-build format by Soluri Architecture. While small, the reconfigured flat now feel like a spacious loft Victorian features and contemporary elements come together through a minimalist approach to create something truly unique in London..

To date, the project has won 2 design awards:

  • 2022 SARA National Design Award Merit Award in the “Renovation, Restoration, and Adaptive Re-use” category. Additional info on this award can be found here on the SARA National website.
  • 2022 Architecture Masterprize – Honorable Mention. For “Interior Design” within the “Residential Interior” category. Additional info on this award can be found here on the Architecture Masterprize website.