Listing of the Day
Location: Kensington, London
Asking Price: £2.95 million (US$4 million); Final Sales Price:£2.89 million (US$3.9 million)
In the late 1820s, Britain’s leading astronomer, Sir James South, purchased property in London’s Kensington neighborhood and had an observatory dome constructed in his garden by celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. As the president of “The Royal Astronomical Society,” South spared no expense and no amount of caution when astronomy was concerned. He not only had the world’s largest telescope at the time—a 12-inch lens crafted in Paris—installed in his observatory, but also habitually engaged in local disputes to ensure no roads be built near his property out of fear that vibrations would damage his equipment.
Today, a road runs nearby and the observatory is gone, but the spirit of South’s star-gazing endures in No. 2 Observatory Gardens, a turnkey three-bedroom apartment on the same property the Victorian astronomer once occupied, which sold late last month for £2.89 million (US$3.9 million). In effect, the subtle interaction of shimmering brass detailing with spherical, glass chandeliers and dusky pink fabric on bespoke furniture suggests an airy celestial atmosphere.
This unique vision of the Victorian home’s classical elements and history refracted through a contemporary lens was precisely what Caroline Takla, co-founder of property development partnership One Point Six, had in mind when developing the residence.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) January 4, 2018
“It was very important to marry those two styles—the traditional with the cool,” she said, noting that the property’s location between the equally charming Kensington Church Street, cosmopolitan Notting Hill, and relaxed Kensington Gardens made this style choice particularly obvious.
As a result, the Victorian was updated with marble features, a contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, unique wallpaper and original furniture, while also retaining such traditional features as its large windows, a fireplace and two terraces ideal for looking up at the night sky that so entranced South nearly two centuries ago.
The 1,155-square-foot apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The building has a 24-hour concierge service and underground parking, while the apartment has bespoke furniture, and two terraces ideal for enjoying the neighborhood view.
As previously noted, the property is conveniently located equidistant from the Notting Hill neighborhood and the shopping-centric Kensington Church Street. “It’s perfectly positioned,” Ms. Takla said, noting the location puts shopping, dining, and culture practically at the homeowner’s doorstep. Similarly, nearby Kensington Gardens provides ample opportunity for serene walks in the park.
Agent: Sai Shanmugam, Chestertons and Caroline Takla, One Point Six
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