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SIMON CLOSE (THE WASHBOARD HOUSE), PORTOBELLO ROAD, LONDON

Creation of this new-built mews house involved ‘scooping out’ the contents of a dark and dingy 1960s mews house, of which only the rear and side walls were retained. New floors and a curved roof with two circular roof lights were inserted, and a new façade created. The first floor level living space has an open plan kitchen, two bedrooms are at ground level. The washboard-like façade was custom made in oak. The full height 5.2 metre double glazed windows are fixed and ventilation is by means of opening oak panels. The change of the façade did not require planning permission.

The project won the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Environment Award 2008 in the New Building Category with the jury stating : “The Washboard House excited admiration. It was judged to be a well-detailed and intriguing response to its particular Mews context. The disciplined achievement of a grand scale without any increase in size over neighbouring dwellings is quite an achievement…”

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