Architects in Hampstead
A brief history of Hampstead
Hampstead has long been known as an affluent and creative area, characterised by its green and hilly landscape, and boasting a complex and rich history. This is reflected in the eclectic mix of housing styles seen throughout the area, with buildings from a range of architectural periods and styles; from Baroque, Georgian and Edwardian to Arts and Crafts, as well as a fine collection of Modernist properties.
The Hampstead Conservation area retains the original Saxon village’s street pattern which is reflected in the fragmentation of the street blocks and the close irregular grouping of old buildings. The striking topography of the area gives rise to a complex of narrow streets and steps creating a warren of passageways connecting the varying street levels, characteristic of the original village layout. Additions to the area that resulted from London’s population boom in the early twentieth century filled the suburbs with an influx of middle-class residents, in turn introducing a new style of residential housing to the area. In the early 20th Century, more prestigious homes continued to be built on Hampstead’s western slopes in a variety of inventive arts-and-crafts styles which gradually became more neo-georgian as the 20th century progressed. A number of striking modern houses were built in the 1930s around Frognal and Willow Road that defied convention and continuing Hampstead’s tradition of celebrating avant-garde architecture.
Artists, writers and thinkers moved from Chelsea to Hampstead in the 1930’s, drawn to the relatively low-cost of housing. No 2 Willow Road was built by Erno and Ursula Goldfinger in 1939 at the height of Hampstead’s bohemian creativity. The modern idealism of the Goldfingers and their creation in Willow Road contributed to the notion of Hampstead as an elevated, refuge for left-wing intellectuals and is a perception that still continues to this day.
At a similar time, the completion of Highpoint One continued to establish Hampstead as a place of progressive modernity. Designed by Berthold Lubetkin, it was described as ‘a gauntlet thrown down to the orthodox English architectural profession and, in a wider sense, to the quiet conservatism of society in general.’ Intended as a prototype for high-density housing, Highpoint One is arguably the first significant building of the British modernist movement that until then limited itself to forms of modest scale and content.
The area has continued to challenge and inspire artists and architects throughout the 20th century, and boasts significant examples across a range of architectural styles. A demonstration of 1970s ‘high-tech’ architecture is seen in Hopkins house,an experimental work that now has a Grade II* listing and was a pilot piece for a newly founded architectural studio by Michael and Patty Hopkins. The lightweight structure applies techniques developed for much larger commercial buildings to a confined residential site. Using thin steel columns and latticed steel-trussed visible throughout, the house appears to be a modest one-storey home from the road, with entrance from the upper floor. From the rear garden the two storeys appear combining the young practice’s office and home. Sitting among Victorian mansions respectfully, Hopkins house has stood the test of time; now an integral part of Hampstead’s contemporary architectural reputation.
Hampstead continues to provide creative architectural variety for its residents, standing out as a characterful and eclectic suburb of London.
What Architectural Services do Rodic Davidson offer in Hampstead?
Rodic Davidson have worked in Hampstead since the inception of the Practice in 2006, having undertaken many residential projects there; ranging from family home renovations to larger-scale apartment blocks. Hampstead is a conservation area of considerable quality and variety, hosting a number of listed buildings and thus providing an insight into London’s explosive and historic development. The area therefore requires a detailed level of sensitivity in order to develop or renovate. Rodic Davidson can provide architectural services, project management and interior design services, offering a holistic service approach that is harmonious with the constraints of the conservation area and socio-political culture that is intertwined with the urban fabric of Hampstead.
About our Hampstead Architect Team
Our experience of working in strict legislative and historically sensitive environments in prime central London consistently secures planning and listed building consents. This knowledge is combined with our own specialist expertise in high-end residential projects, locality and experience in the London Borough of Camden.
At Rodic Davidson, we have an extensive portfolio of works with Listed Buildings and those in a Conservation Architecture Area. Our contemporary design expertise allow our team to consistently deliver high-end homes for our clients, whilst our respect and passion for structures that preserve our heritage enable us to produce attentive and historically sensitive designs. This consideration is particularly relevant in primarily residential areas of London such as Hampstead, where movements of architecture are represented in notable residences.
Our Work as Architects in NW3
A current project in Hampstead is the renovation of the property previously ancillary to the Hampstead Trinity presbyterian Church. The existing building was originally used as a Church School and has since become a family home. The property is characterised by three arched windows- typical of 19th century non-conformist church architecture, having a strong presence throughout Hampstead High Street, and thus requiring a nimble and deft approach. Rodic Davidson achieved planning consent to enclose the existing western terrace, thereby creating an internal library space at first floor and a small extension to the existing terrace at second floor level. The opening of the west facing roof over the existing internal second floor gallery provides a flush internal skylight whilst maintaining the original character of the building.
If your project is in Hampstead: Talk to us today
Rodic Davidson is always interested in new potential projects of any scale, one of our team would love to hear about your property and discuss how we can help. We offer all of our clients a bespoke approach, molded by each site and its exciting, individual constraints.
You can call our studio to enquire or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 (0)20 7043 3551
+44 (0)20 7043 3552