Location: Newcombe House, Notting Hill Gate, RB of Kensington and Chelsea, London. W11
Site: Newcombe House forms a part of what was a major redevelopment of this area in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Date: 2011 - present
Stage: RIBA Stages A-D; Detailed Planning
Client: Notting Hill Gate KCS Ltd
Development Manager: Brockton Capital Llp and U+I Plc
Proposed Use: Mixed use - residential, office, retail and surgery.
Townscape & Heritage: Donald Insall A.
Services, Sust., Acoust., Fire: Hoare Lea
Façade Engineer: WSP
Transport: Transport Planning Practice
Landscape: Adams Habermehl
Rights of Light: GVASB
Visualisation: Miller Hare
Russel Harris QC
Legal: Herbert Smith Freehills
Townscape & Heritage: Tavernor C.
The site is bounded to the North by a major East-West axis through London and to the East by major North-South route through the Borough. The site is at a significant junction, defining a frontage onto the Notting Hill Gate District Centre. The 1960’s Newcombe House, an eyesore building, currently marks this significant junction. The site is adjacent to and over a major transport node. The site is in close proximity to 4 Conservation Areas, each with a variety of characteristics. There is opportunity to enhance the identity of the District Centre and improve its public realm.
A new urban quarter would be formed of a composition of individual buildings and public spaces that connect to the local network of streets. Each building would respond to the particular nature of its location, combining to deliver a coherent urban quarter with a new public square at its centre. Perimeter buildings, responding to the domestic scale of the Conservation Areas, would activate the site’s edges and frame the new public square. An elegantly proportioned Corner Building, responding to the commercial scale of the District Centre, would enhance the identity of Notting Hill Gate, marking the significant corner of the site and an arrival point to the new public square. A mix of uses would activate the site.
A mixture of uses would be distributed across the site, to activate the streetscape and provide a vibrant and safe environment for residents, workers and visitors. The proposal is for 14 retail units, 4390sqm offices, 46 residential apartments and a 904sqm surgery, with basement services and car park. A new public square would support community events and connect to neighbouring routes and views with a series of pedestrian lanes. The buildings would vary across the site, with 3-5 storey Perimeter Buildings and an elegantly proportioned slip form Corner Building stepping up from 14 storeys to 18 storeys.
Two buildings along Kensington Church St. would respond to the coarser urban grain to the East, creating a formal street edge and opening up to the new public square. Two buildings along the West boundary would respond to the finer urban grain to the West and mediate with the adjacent transport infrastructure, lining the Underground Station and providing an active edge to the new public square. Residential, retail and surgery uses would be layered. Long and slender hand-made bricks and dark bronze aluminium detailing would form a quality contextual appearance.
The sculptural Cube Building would define the South face of the new public square.
The Cube would be set within the development, with glimpsed views from outside available through new pedestrian lanes, drawing passersby in. The building would provide flexible office space, with opportunity for its ground floor to support public activities on the square. The Cube’s sculptural form is expressed in white corian, with deep set openings and perforated areas to create varied transparency and a play of light and shade that supports its use.
Notting Hill Gate Building & Glass Link
The building would re-establish the District Centre street edge, with new active frontages and a generous pedestrian route through, linking the nearby London Underground Station entrance with the new public square. Office use would sit above retail. A deep stone frame would define the building form. Large openings would address the significant junction at the site’s corner. Within openings, fine metalwork in dark aluminium bronze would be layered in solid and perforated panels. A Glass Link would create a light and transparent connection with the Corner Building.
On approach, a composition of elegant forms would be legible. On arrival, a richness of craft would be revealed. The building would be defined by two forms that step to create an articulated composition, with elegant proportions, that responds to 360° views. The uses would be vertically layered, with retail, offices and resi. The order of the building’s elegant vertical grid and the varied rhythm of activity it supports would be expressed. Portland stone, with deep returns, would define the building form. Lighter elements in dark bronze aluminium and glass would be set back.