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Lockdown Stair - A house in Notting Hill

Kensington and Chelsea

Project Details

£20,000 to £49,999

Alteration to existing property, Within a Conservation Area


Sophie Nguyen Architects

16 Great Western Studios , 65 Alfred Road , London , W2 5EU

This project is for a house in Notting Hill, London, for which the construction works took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing, the works on site had to be organised differently taking more time to be done, using materials available in existing storage and more personal interpretation from the team on site due to remote communication. The focus for this project is a new staircase installed between the lower ground floor and its upper floors. Designed as a piece of sculpture, this new element is both functional and a new focal point to the house. The lower ground floor was stripped back and cleared of previous services. New services were installed and hidden behind a red panel at the entrance of the lower ground floor. The walls have been painted white and the existing Victorian pine floors have been sanded and treated with a white oil to increase the sense of light. The limited choice available for construction materials during the lockdown, led to the use of basic materials for the new elements and a focus on the painted finish. The timber staircase was conceived to create a surprising experience. With its steps, handrail and supporting wall all covered with a smooth red finish, the light bounces off these surfaces creating a warm halo. The new panel covering the new services next to the entrance, doubles up as a coat rack and echoes the red colour of the staircase.