CONTEMPORARY EXCELLENCE ON AN HISTORIC KENSINGTON SQUARE
An exceptional and substantial property in a prime London postcode that combines elegant entertaining space with an opulent family home.
On a tranquil garden square just a short stroll from the very best of London life, 59 South Edwardes Square is a magnificent home that stands out even among the many prime properties of Kensington. From the swimming pool, spa and gym in the basement up to the spirit-lifting winter garden with its retractable roof, the property offers an astonishing London home, minutes from High Street Kensington.
“It is an extraordinary showstopper,” outlines James Pace, Knight Frank’s Partner based in Kensington. “From the moment you step into the property you’re struck by an overwhelming sense of space and wonderful light. These were once artist studios and the inventive design has only enhanced the natural light which streams down the central staircase and from both sides of the house. Along with the unusually high 3.5 metre ceilings it makes a dramatic statement.”
The house is the work of established London-based architectural and design company Studio Indigo who have fashioned a contemporary beauty behind the original Arts and Crafts façade. By upending the house they have created grand entertaining space on the ground and first floors – a superb first floor reception room with concealed bar overlooks the canopy of trees in the garden square – while the informal family rooms on the top floor provide privacy and outdoor space. The staircase is the central spine of the house, an 18 metre cantilevered architectural marvel coated in travertine that unifies the five floors. With top-end finishes including beautiful Cipollino Verde marble in the hammam, six-ensuite bedrooms, secure garaging for three cars and a glass lift linking all floors, the house is both visually spectacular and immensely practical.
“The house is perfectly balanced with imposing entertaining space and the warm atmosphere of a home,” says Mr Pace. “It’s a wonderfully calm environment with an overall harmony and a sense of intimacy on each floor. The top floor for example with the winter garden also has a family kitchen, a dining room and an informal living room. The property is far beyond a traditional London townhouse.”
The privileged lifestyle continues outside. Edwardes Square is a three-acre private garden with a rare Grade II listing, laid out in 1820 by an Italian artist to an unusually informal design. Today it’s a true oasis with a grass tennis court and paths meandering past rose arbours. Larger than a private garden and more exclusive than a public park, this is one of London’s most charming garden squares.
A rich cultural life combined with magnificent gardens, handsome architecture and a royal heritage ensure an exclusive London lifestyle.
Kensington is one of London’s most affluent neighbourhoods, packed full of museums and high-grade restaurants and home to a truly international community. Its majestic connections began in 1689 when King William III purchased a home there, later renamed Kensington Palace and the London residence for members of the royal family to this day.
Kensington’s eternal appeal lies in its upscale variety. Beautiful public gardens, swift transport connections throughout London or west to Heathrow airport, designer boutiques and true café culture make this a vibrant, year-round neighbourhood.
The property on offer is equally appealing, best-in-class homes from apartments in Edwardian mansion blocks to Georgian townhouses and prized new developments. The white stucco villas of Phillimore Gardens and exclusive mansions of Kensington Palace Gardens rate among the capital’s most prestigious family homes.
Kensington sits at the heart of London’s cultural life. World-famous museums in South Kensington include The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert while The Royal Albert Hall on the edge of Hyde Park is London’s most iconic performance hall, now celebrating its 150th year. There are modern touches too. In 2016 The Design Museum was rehoused in a listed building in Kensington High Street, its dramatic makeover by minimalist architect John Pawson adding a contemporary cutting-edge buzz.
Kensington is in pole position for the very best of London’s shopping with the epicentre of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street home to a mix of high street names, designer boutiques, a vast Whole Foods and several interior design shops. A little further afield you’ll find the stellar department stores of Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, upmarket interior and design shops on the Fulham and Kings Road including The Conran Shop and to the north, a treasure-trove of antiques at Portobello Market.
Kensington High Street lies between two of London’s most cherished parks. Kensington Gardens leading to Hyde Park is immediately to the east while Holland Park is to the west, a total of 670 acres at the heart of the capital. Holland Park is a favourite for its adventure playground and exquisite Japanese Kyoto Garden while Kensington and Hyde Park are two of London’s eight Royal Parks, complete with formal avenues of trees and ornamental flower beds. Visitors come to play tennis, horse ride, have lunch at the waterfront café or view contemporary art at the Serpentine Gallery.