A 1950s residential property occupying a quiet enclave between eight and nine storey mansion blocks has been transformed thanks to a considered restoration.
Undertaken by Amin Taha Architects, the transformation of Caroline Place was completed in August 2016 at an estimated construction cost of £1.6m. Caroline Place has since received widespread acclaim and praise, highlighted when Caroline Place was shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards 2018.
A total of 93 projects have been shortlisted and throughout April each site was visited by one of five London juries. The winners will be announced shortly at a ceremony at the RIBA.
Work on Caroline Place began in May 2014 with London Basement acting as the main contractor for the project.
The building was originally constructed with a modern northern European sensibility of sharp brick lines and crisp mortar joints layered with softer timber detailing. One of the early decisions on the project was to restore and repair the exterior finishes as they had only been slightly remodelled previously. The good condition of details on neighbouring properties made this aspect of the work reasonably straightforward.
Moving into the property, a number of original features were discovered during the early phases of the project. Travertine flooring was discovered alongside 1970s pine boarding behind densely plastered walls and one room that had been lined with dark cherry timber panelling.
The decision to reintroduce travertine into the space was partly due to the wide spectrum of textural and visual possibilities it has. It also allowed for hard wearing surfaces to be introduced across each floor including the open courtyard and into the garage/study.
Varying the finishes meant that the journey from interior to exterior was differentiated, from the basement to the ground floor and above.
When Caroline Place was originally built in the 1950s, the interior was laid out in the English Edwardian tradition. This meant that there was a distinction between the ground floor serving areas and larger, light filled areas above for owners. This layout, however, was soon altered by previous inhabitants of the property who preferred more sub-dividing walls.
The latest transformation sought a return to the original layout, with a desire for more open-plan living. This was helped by the removal of downstand beams and brick nibs that may have been necessary during the construction of the original building but were now no longer needed.
The furniture that was subsequently been added has played an important role in defining the individual areas of the property. The first floor, for example, includes two full height bookcases that can fold out and enclose part of the floor – creating a reception room and a study. One of the bookcases can also fold out into a guest bed, which turns the study into a bedroom.
The careful and considered restoration of Caroline Place is a testament to the work of both the design team and the team on-site. The recognition it has received since completion is well deserved for a stunning renovation and refurbishment.