Portland Road in Notting Hill, London is filled with terrace townhouses that are under strict limitations when it comes to renovations and refurbishments as this area is rich in history and character which has resulted in this site being classified as a Conservation Area. This project saw the renovation of one of the mid-terrace houses which the architects, Johanna Molineus Architects, had to design with great care in order to preserve the character of the building.
Portland Road's townhouses are highly sought-after properties due to their location and luxurious kerb appeal. However, internally these properties rarely reflect the grandeur which their frontages proclaim. These terrace homes were built by speculative developers in the 1850s on a strip running between the affluent Ladbroke Estate and the Norland Estate, which was one of the most notorious slums in London. Their historic structures prevent them from reaching modern-day architectural standards, therefore many of the homeowners seek ways to modernise their homes through renovations.
The homeowners of this project commissioned Johanna Molineus Architects to design a modern renovation to the Notting Hill townhouse that included large installations of minimally framed and frameless glazing. One of the main tasks of this project was to find a balance between modernity and historical features. Various original features became key elements in the design proposal and the architectural glazing installations were purposefully considered to emphasise the original character of the property.
The design intent for this terrace renovation was to open up the narrow home at the rear to build a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Double height sliding doors were installed to the rear of the property to expand the horizontal dimension to the living areas. These oversized aluminium sliding doors, minimal windows 4+ system, span a height of 5770mm tall to create an expansive elevation of glass. These tall external sliding doors were installed adjacent to an internal double-height void which serves as an internal courtyard, channelling light down into the lower ground floor rooms.
The courtyard in the lower ground floor level was surrounded by minimal windows sliding doors which allowed natural sunlight to flood down through the void and into the living spaces. Installed next to the tall sliding patio doors, these dual elements of glazing connect the lower and upper ground floors directly with the rear garden. The flush threshold of this glazing system further enhances the connection between the indoor and outdoor living spaces allowing the internal rooms to flow effortlessly towards the garden.
Frameless glass balustrades were installed throughout the internal spaces, such as along the stairwells, to continue the flow of daylight. These frameless glass balustrades are also the perfect addition to the interior design as they do not take anything away from the heritage features of the architecture. Although these glass balustrades are highly modern, they are elegant glazing products that maintain the existing architectural aesthetic.
The sliding doors cover a double-height elevation, the internal floors were tailored to meet this new design. Therefore, the first floor at the rear of the property was recessed to provide space for the large minimal windows sliding doors to slide with plenty of space. This rearrangement of the living spaces helped to maximise the benefits of the light flooding into the space. To the recessed first floor level, frameless glass balustrades were installed to provide a protective barrier where the sliding patio doors slide.
A M.A.R.S automated sliding glass rooflight was used at the top of the home as an access rooflight, sliding open easily at the push of a button to grant the home's occupants easy access to their rooftop space. In London where outdoor space is sparse, making the most of any rooftop space is essential.
IQ also designed and detailed a tricky interface between the minimal windows sliders with a structural glass floor on either side. The design team at IQ had to consider fixings as well as drainage to ensure the bespoke glass installation worked with the surrounding finishes.
The internal courtyards create additional levels of natural light as well as create an indoor-outdoor aesthetic. The introduction of outdoor space within these ‘underground’ living spaces helps to bring the natural environment indoors.
These sliding doors were manufactured using the minimal windows 4+ system which enabled IQ to reach such impressive heights with slim framed sliders. IQ Glass worked closely with Keller, the manufacturers of minimal windows, to design these 5.7metre tall sliders bespoke for this unique project in London. To specify tall slim sliding doors on your project speak to the technical team at IQ Glass who will advise you in the best way to achieve these impressive glazing installations.