Notting Hill Garden House

Nick Hill architects, London, 2020



Photography by Emily Marshall     Download Original

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The Garden House is located in the back garden of an 1850s townhouse in Notting Hill, West London

It is sited towards the centre of a large green enclave of mature gardens under the canopy of tall trees. It provides additional accommodation, complementary to that of the main house, comprising a flexible living/ working garden studio together with ancillary facilities — a WC, bath/ shower room and a small kitchen.

The main studio faces the length of the garden with large glazed doors looking back to the main house and another set of doors opening onto a private courtyard at the back, densely planted with palms and ferns. Ancillary accommodation is organised in a second, narrower block in the corner of the site oriented along the north boundary wall. The bathroom is located at the back of the plan and has a south facing glazed doorway which opens out to the private rear courtyard.

The front door is located at the junction between the two geometries, opening to an entrance hall from which all other spaces are accessed. The design reimagines a neglected, awkwardly-shaped plot at the end of the garden to create a sequence of new living spaces, both internal and external, that aim to make the most of their garden surroundings.

The host property already offers a variety of elegant finely-finished living spaces so, with a more limited budget, the opportunity for the Garden House was to make something simpler, less urbane, but much more strongly connected to the garden, both physically and tonally.

The material palette – mineral-washed brickwork inside and out, exposed ceiling joists, galvanised steel window frames, end-grain woodblock flooring – references more traditional garden buildings while at the same time creating internal spaces with a strong material character of their own.

Exposed construction and careful detailing showcases the simple craftsmanship of its construction while avoiding additional costs of applied linings or fine finishes. Generous window openings heighten the proximity of the outside, further enhancing the relationship between the building and its garden setting.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Apr 2019
  • Completed: Feb 2020
  • Floor area: 58m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £292,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Dec 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works with Contractor Design - Traditional
  • Address: Pembridge Place, London, W2, United Kingdom