Architect: John Winter
Occupying a sunny corner plot in the heart of Belsize Village, this is a wonderfully refined four-bedroom modern house with significant architectural pedigree. Originally built in 1970 to a design by the noted architect John Winter, it was refurbished by Jerry Taylor in 1995, then updated and extended by the internationally acclaimed practice Adjaye Associates in 2002.
The house has been owned and loved by the same family for many years. Although generally in good condition, it may benefit from some cosmetic updating in places. It measures almost 2,500 sq ft internally, with a front driveway, garage and charming garden. It was built as part of a pair, and is located on the corner of Belsize Lane and Ornan Road.
Upon entering the house, the visitor is immediately connected to the outside, with views to the garden through full-width windows. There is a step down to the dining area, and then a sliding door to the wedge-shaped kitchen and breakfast room. This has a huge glazed door to the garden, which has a full-width deck, an expansive lawn and a beautiful mature tree. The ground floor also contains a utility room, store room and garage.
The living room is on the first floor in order to maximise the natural light, with windows to two aspects and a wood-burning stove. There is also a bedroom with en-suite shower room to the other side of the staircase. The second floor contains three further bedrooms, two of which have access to balconies, and two bathrooms.
Externally, the house is clad in white ceramic mosaic tiles. It shows Winter’s typically rational approach to structure and construction: the organisation of the interior develops from the geometry of the three structural bays on the main façades. As part of the 2002 refurbishment, Adjaye Associates added insulation to the existing concrete blockwork, replaced the windows, and replaced the front and garage doors. They also added the single-storey kitchen extension, which stands slightly back from the existing façade and plays with transparency and reflection.
The house is located a short walk from the shops and restaurants in Belsize Village. The Underground is available at Belsize Park (Northern Line) and Finchley Road (Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines). Hampstead Village and the vast open spaces of Hampstead Heath are easily accessible to the north. Many of London’s best independent schools are within walking distance of the house.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
John Winter (1930-2012) studied at the Architectural Association in the 1950s, and after national service attended Yale. In San Francisco he worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill as well as Charles Eames (Winter had a personal collection of Eames furniture). Eventually returning to England, he worked for Ernö Goldfinger and lectured at the Architectural Association before setting up his own practice. Winter carried out a number of elegant residential projects in the 1960s and ‘70s, most notably his own house overlooking Highgate Cemetery, a rectilinear structure clad in Corten steel. Late in his career he took a detailed interest in the restoration and conservation of some of Britain’s most avant-garde International Style properties, including Six Pillars in Dulwich and High Cross House in Dartington, Devon.