Property match: Kentish Town house (with own drawbridge) WLTM artistic owner
PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:44 04 March 2016
This NW5 property is looking for an artistic partner to love its sense of space and abundance of natural light
Countess Road, NW5
The current owners opted to outfit the house with 70s style furniture
The house is a blank canvas of white, with pops of colour such as the blue tiles in the kitchen
The home would suit a creative occupant
The balustrades were designed to echo those on a ship
The open levels of the house give a wonderful sense of space
Inside the 'glass box' you can enjoy the tranquil garden from the indoors
Large expanses of glass let in an abundance of natural light
The house was built on the back of a Victorian terrace
The gangway style landing lends the levels a nautical air
The property is full of natural light making it an ideal artist's residence
The layout of the house makes it highly adaptable to its owner's needs
For the Greenacres, their home on Countess Road was love at first sight. The couple were the first to view the property and put an offer in straight away.
“It was pure luck that we found it,” says Heidi Greenacre.
The house is in the golden triangle of NW5: a residential area with a lovely community vibe and Hampstead Heath to the west.
Now it is back on the market for £935,000, and its owners hope it will find another perfect match.
For the past year Heidi, an interior designer, and Andy, the picture editor at The Telegraph, have lived in this unique house with their two dachshunds, Marmite and Tetley.
Whilst the love between property and owner remains, Heidi’s new passion for pottery and her burgeoning career as a ceramicist have prompted the pairing to part ways. Although the house has plenty of vertical space, its temperament is unsuited to the dust and clutter attendant to a resident potter.
“My new passion has slightly taken over,” says Greenacre. Their stay has been short but sweet, and the pair will be sorry to leave. “I should have taken up knitting,” she jokes.
The house on Countess Road was built in 1975, on the back of a Victorian terrace. Two of the original back rooms were co-opted to create the new property, and the original brickwork of the garden walls have been incorporated into the fabric of the building. Split over four half levels, the property has a unique personality. Light pours in through the glass walls, ceilings and roofs and the split levels make for a great sense of space. Particularly striking is the design of the glass elements used in the building.If you look back on the house from the garden, the interlocking mono-pitched roofs and glass walls stack on top of each other in a series of polygons. The effect is like that of a Cubist painting, or an abstracted child’s drawing of a house.
Not much is known about the original architect, Brian Muckley, but it is believed that he worked on the refurbishment of the Barbican Centre. Greenacre has also been told that Muckley was a fan of maritime design, and the house has several elements that could be described as nautical. The split levels are connected by a series of narrow landings reminiscent of gangways, with metal balustrades like those of a ship. The garden also features a fully working drawbridge, although the original moat has been filled in by previous owners. The new owner could always restore the moat, should they wish to create their own private love island.
Moat notwithstanding, the garden is a peaceful and private space, set far back from the road. On the other side of the bridge sits a conservatory made almost entirely from glass, including the floor. Downstairs, the main open plan living and dining area, along with the partly open-plan kitchen, sit on the ground floor, with stairs leading to a study that sits below. The top floor features a large landing and a high-ceilinged master bedroom.
The property needs a creative owner; someone as open minded as it is open plan.
“It’s a unique space,” says Greenacre, “it’s definitely not conventional.” With its whitewashed walls and poured resin floor, the house is reminiscent of an artist’s studio. “It would suit an artist of some kind,” says Greenacre. “It’s such an exciting space; it needs someone special, someone creative.”
With its unique use of space, the property is bursting with character and its own brand of charm.
The original architecture makes it a one-of-a-kind property, yet the white walls and floods of natural light lend it the quality of a blank canvas. Will an artist make it their muse?
Greenacre affectionately dubs it a “Marmite house, you either love it or you hate it,” she says. Hopefully, it will be the former, and the house will find its special someone again soon.
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