Ted Levy’s distinctive architecture stands the test of time at these properties
PUBLISHED: 16:07 10 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:07 10 April 2015
It can be easy to pass over the unassuming exteriors of the homes designed by Ted Levy Benjamin surrounded as they are by properties which scream their impressiveness from the rafters.
Many of the houses are in small developments, where the heavy use of brick can draw comparisons with Brookside Close to the uninitiated, which seems odd considering that the practice comprising three South African émigrés came to define contemporary architecture in north London in the 1970s.
Indeed, the firm is so Hampstead that Levy, the best known of the trio, even had an affair with Peter Sellers’ wife while he was working on the couple’s home.
Mark Sumray of Benham & Reeves, Highgate said: “Nowadays the people that like buying them like Modernist architecture and they’re looking for something with those proportions and that use of light. Those people that love Ted Levy restore them as much as possible to their original state.”
One property that displays that original drama to excellent effect is on the market through Savills.
The four-bedroom house is in West Hill Park, a well-loved gated development of 45 houses and a block of eight flats, which was first marketed in 1974 with Benham & Reeves as one of the agents.
Sumray says: “When the West Hill Park development launched a lot of people wanted to look at them, from all different walks of life.
“They were cutting edge, really the next generation of home building at the time.”
The house features Levy’s signature exposed brick wall with a fireplace in the reception room, which can be viewed to spectacular effect from the galleried landing.
Frank Townsend of Savills, Hampstead, who are selling the property says: “Architecturally they’re interesting because he does manage to get a lot of spaces into his houses in unexpected ways.
“The pitched pine roof in the reception room is typical of Ted Levy. It goes all the way up to the top of the ceiling.”
Another Highgate house, which retains more or less the original layout is being sold by Benham & Reeves.
The Highgate Close property also features a galleried study overlooking the vaulted reception room in typically dramatic ‘70s style.
“Ted Levy’s thing was all about light and space and what he did was pitch the ceilings in either the principle bedrooms or reception rooms to give them the double height,” says Sumray.
“In order to get round either the planning or the value of the land he built overlarge rooms.
“A lot of the properties were designed as a four-bedroom house but built as a three-bed and then what people did was put their own partition walls up once they moved in.
“This got round the planning act under which you could only have so many rooms per acre.”
At the other end of the spectrum is the house in Gayton Crescent in Hampstead where the current vendors have converted three white painted studio houses into one spectacular contemporary home.
The re-configured house is a temple to all-white minimalism, with poured resin floors, sliding doors and wall panels and bespoke fixtures and fittings – down to the fitted towel hooks and toilet brush holder in the bathrooms.
Technology controls every aspect of the interior with a Gira KNX system controlling the lighting, heating and Lutron blinds with a Control4 home automation package activating TV, Apple TV, DVD and audio in each room.
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