Knof Design from Miami brings together twin townhouses for one luxury family home
Miami-based Knof Design has completed a London commission that saw the unification of two separate townhouses near Hyde Park to create a single 7,500 sq ft family home. Retaining only the façade and demolishing and rebuilding the rest of the property from scratch, the new super-luxe residence has retained all its original external period elements, including both original entrances, preserved to maintain the properties’ historical frontage, while a brand new, spacious and sophisticated modern home now sits just inside. The new interior features two grand staircase lobbies, a full-service lift, formal open living, lounge and dining rooms with built-in onyx bar, a wine cellar, a cinema room, five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and dressing areas, a children’s playroom, kitchen, a family dining room and study area, a newly excavated utility basement, and an increased sunken outdoor area.
‘Our client purchased the original property in 2009,’ explains Susan Knof, creative director and founder of Knof Design. ‘I completely redesigned that for them whilst based in London at that time. The clients loved the treatment, but their growing family required more space and so, when the opportunity came up to purchase the neighbouring property and combine the two, they seized it and came back to us with the great opportunity of realising their extended vision. That new vision allowed for an expansive open interior, with a double-height grand entrance area and new skylights, plus a sunken rear garden, creating and an abundance of natural light.’
To future-proof the scheme, the intricate interior has been designed and detailed to function either separately or as a whole, involving two separate mechanical and electrical systems and structures, so the home can be re-sold either as a single or as multiple properties. With the retained front entrances, the new interior therefore had to integrate two full-height vertical stairways, which created a natural division of space.
From an interior architectural standpoint, the main challenge was the overall space-plan of the buildings and especially how to connect each floor with a dividing corridor linking the two stairwells, although, says Knof, this encouraged the team’s creativity, especially on the top two floors: ‘It seemed logical to approach the project by creating a hierarchy of entrances, with one double-height formal entry, plus a secondary entrance for day-to-day use.
The two new connections create a continual, flowing loop, from side to side and from the top to the bottom floor.’ She adds: ‘The main entrance, ground floor and first floor, with its master bedroom, en suite and wardrobes, dictates the main design story of the property – open, elegant, light and luxurious – whilst the lower ground and second floor have a slightly less formal, more familial approach.’