Architects in Notting Hill
A Brief History of Notting Hill
Notting Hill is home to a rich architectural and cultural history, emerging as a rural hamlet in Middlesex and having now been transformed into a bustling and affluent neighbourhood, a process that began with the major expansions to London in the early 19th Century. The Ladbroke Family, working with Architect Thomas Allason set out to develop the area, notoriously made up of dilapidated industrial slums that had colloquially become known as the “Potteries and Piggeries”. Due to the heavy clay of the area, its identity was associated with the tile and brick-making kilns and the pig slurries across the farmland. The view was to develop the area into a fashionable London suburb, made up of large houses, aiming to entice the wealthiest Londoners as had been done in Mayfair and Belgravia, where many streets already bore the Ladbroke family name.
The master plan kindled the creation of large private communal gardens, originally known as ‘pleasure grounds’ or ‘paddocks’ enclosed by terraces and crescents of houses. The Victorians promoted the integration of green amenity spaces into the urban fabric to provide space for leisure and exercise. These shared residential gardens departed from typical London Garden squares which were usually accessed from the street and overlooked by the fronts of properties. Conversely, the communal gardens in this conservation area are situated behind the properties and are directly accessed from homes. A major consequence of this was the aesthetic attention paid to the rear elevation, now made visible to neighbours enjoying their communal gardens, thus often receiving ornamental treatment such as stucco rear facades, matching the street front.
The reputation of Notting Hill changed as large houses were increasingly split into multiple occupation dwellings as in-house servant areas became increasingly faux pas. Accelerated by the damage to buildings during the Blitz, the postwar identity of Notting Hill became associated with cheap housing, whilst the influx of Caribbean and Irish immigrants was exploited by landlords such as Peter Rachman; who turned the area of Notting Hill into a slum. The growing population from the West-Indies combined with competition for scarce affordable housing and unsanitary conditions in the area fueled inter-racial tensions, coming to a head during the Notting Hill race riots in 1958. The gruesome attacks saw white working-class ‘Teddy Boys’ and supporters of Edward Molsley’s far right Union movement, commit violent assaults on West Indian residents, their businesses and their homes. In response to the riots, activist Claudia Jones organised an indoor Caribbean Carnival (precursor to the Notting Hill Carnival), to unify the community in a celebration of Caribbean culture and to work towards easing ongoing racial tensions.
The late fifties and sixties saw slum clearance in the area, with mass evictions and housing demolition making way for the development of the Westway elevated motorway. The famous portobello market worked to re-established culture and community, intertwining Notting Hill with modern culture and appealing to the central London alternative lifestyle. Today, Notting Hill is one of London’s most desirable areas, gaining significant popularity following the release of the 1999 film, Notting Hill. Whilst housing in the area is not scarce, the longevity of the residents in the area contributes to its sought-after reputation, with those living in Notting Hill being likely to stay between 20 to 40 years, compared with transient buyers in Belgravia and Mayfair who are likely to move on at an average of every three to seven years.
What Architectural Services do Rodic Davidson offer in Notting Hill?
Rodic Davidson Architects have extensive experience on projects in Notting Hill and the wider RBKC area, having worked on many projects here since the inception of the practice in 2006. The Ladbroke Grove and Pembridge Conservation Areas cover Notting Hill, and are further protected by The Ladbroke Association and The Pembridge Association respectively. These associations are often consulted on planning applications and RBKC place their opinion on alteration and the effect on historic fabric in high regard, aiming to encourage high standards of architectural and town planning and to also stimulate interest and care for the beauty, history and character of the neighbourhoods. These environments therefore require a vigorous strategic approach, specialist knowledge of the historic fabric and an involved and cooperative approach to communication with the RBKC planning officers and the association alike. Rodic Davidson offer Architectural, Interior Design, and Project management services to offer an integrated process, maintaining our relationships within the area to deliver high-quality projects.
Our Work as Architects in Notting Hill, W8
Rodic Davidson’s projects in Notting Hill range in scale, with high-quality residential buildings designed for private clients and developers alike; from extensions to townhouses, works to upgrade the quality and functionality of listed buildings and a recent full internal reconfiguration and mansard extension.
Townhouse, Notting Hill is a grand Victorian property with its rear listed garden square resulting in the primary living spaces and spacial programme being reorientated towards the buildings rear. Rodic Davidson Architects’ and Rodic Davidson Interiors worked with the Client to provide a holistic design process and project delivery. Our intervention embodies the building’s evolution, with grand ground and first floors crafted in a more traditional style. Moving upwards the design becomes more contemporary, arriving at a modern, paired back interior within the mansard extension. The works retain the original fireplaces and restore original ornamentation, with the new top floor proving expansive views over the garden and beyond. The Client’s brief was to modernise and improve the existing building in terms of layout, services, and condition of structure, building fabric and finishes, including the creation of additional accommodation in the form of a new mansard floor to provide space for modern, inter-generational family living. The design maintains the consistency of a single home, whist allowing personalisation within each suite that echoes values of individual family clusters.
About our Notting Hill Architecture 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 Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, dominating much of our portfolio.
At Rodic Davidson, we have an extensive portfolio of works with Listed Buildings and those in a Conservation Architecture Area. Our contemporary design expertise allows 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 Notting Hill, where the heritage value of the area is demonstrable through its exemplar survival of a period of great residential expansion in London.
If your project is in Notting Hill: 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 our clients a bespoke approach, moulded by each site and its exciting, individual constraints.
You can call our studio to enquire or email us on email@example.com
+44 (0)20 7043 3551
+44 (0)20 7043 3552