Pretty much untouched for decades, this 1960s midcentury modern townhouse in London W2 is now on the market.
Just a short walk from Hyde Park, the house was built between 1960 and 1962 and lived in by noted film director and screenwriter Thorold Dickinson. But it’s perhaps Dickinson’s wife who has had the most last effect on this particular house.
His wife was architect Joanna Macfadyen, who was responsible for designing all of the interior details in the house. In most cases that would be insignificant as period details tend to get ripped out of the majority of houses in primes spots in the capital. Not this one.
The house has been sold in the past, back in 1984. But it was sold to a former student and assistant to Thorold Dickinson, who has lived in it ever since with his wife, a photographer and artist. This is the first time it has formerly been on the market.
The second owner obviously had an affinity to the original design as so little has changed since then. Some areas might well need an upgrade. I do love an original kitchen, but I think this one might need something of a lift. Likewise, the bathroom too.
Beyond that, I really wouldn’t change a thing. This is a moment in time, a house of its era and a rare find in the capital. A few tweaks here and there, but hopefully nothing more.
The house itself is positioned towards the end of the mews, with an exterior clad in brick and mosaic tiles on the first and second floors respectively.
A small entrance hall is on the ground floor at the side of the original mews garage doors, with the front door, which retains its original built-in doorbell, opening onto a wood-clad hallway and staircase of Macfadyen’s design.
It is up the stairs where the house comes to life. Partitions, mirrors, balconies and clean lines create a sense of space and light far in excess of the house’s square footage.
An open-plan living and dining room are linked by a bespoke built-in bookcase which ‘merges into a mirrored wall’ at the balcony end. This results in the whole of the first floor being bathed in natural light, ‘bouncing sunlight through from the east-facing balcony’, according to the agent. Talking of the bookcase, I would love a couple of hours going through the contents of it.
Macfadyen’s bespoke partition between the kitchen and dining room aids the flow of light further, with ‘artfully positioned gaps’ above the kitchen and additional sections of mirrored wall.
The kitchen itself is a joy to behold if you love original details. Not a lot has changed here, but as I said earlier, maybe a few updates are required now. Note that the original box-framed windows are also in place, with blinds mounted inside the frames.
The second floor has a second bedroom, which is currently used as a study, with built-in storage spaces and an original family bathroom, which uses fixed mirrors and skylights to ‘naturally illuminate the space’.
The master bedroom is also on this floor at the front of the house. The ceiling is lined with mirrors around a stretched section of canvas directly above the bed, while the walls are clad in wood and the cabinetry flush to the walls. Almost hidden in fact. A concealed door too, which has access to the roof terrace.
The terrace has views of the mews wall below and beyond that, the gardens of Porchester Terrace and further to the west Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
A wonderful time capsule of the era and a great example of clever design in a modest space. £1,395,000 is the asking price of this one.
Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.