Architect: Edwin Maxwell Fry
This exemplary two-bedroom apartment with balcony is situated on the raised ground floor of a landmark 1930s block in Notting Hill. Number 65 Ladbroke Grove was designed by the great British architect Edwin Maxwell Fry in collaboration with Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus. It is one of the finest surviving Modernist buildings in London, and is Grade II-listed.
This apartment sits on the end of the block, with no immediate neighbours to one side or beneath. It has a reception room with views onto trees, and access to a private balcony with a south-westerly aspect. The galley kitchen is linked to the reception room by a low-level hatch and a clever purpose-built timber table – this forms a dining table on one side of the divide, and a small perch for a cup of tea or preparing meals on the other. The kitchen is compact but well equipped, with a built-in washing machine and dishwasher, a cork floor, and a high-level window to the front.
The master bedroom is positioned at the rear, and also has leafy views through large windows. It retains its original built-in cupboards. At the front is the second bedroom, currently used as a study, and there is an adjacent bathroom.
The building has a live-in porter, lift access and glorious communal gardens. There are three residents’ parking bays for use on a first-come first-served basis. The block contains just 17 flats, which rarely come up for sale. This particular apartment has been in the same ownership for approximately 17 years. It has been very well maintained, with sensitive updates in keeping with the original architectural intentions – the owners have added door furniture designed by Walter Gropius, for example.
Built on the highest point of Ladbroke Grove, number 65 occupies one of the most enviable sites in London. It is situated within easy reach of the shops, restaurants and markets of Portobello Road, Holland Park Avenue and Westbourne Grove. The Underground stations of Holland Park (Central Line), Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District Lines) and Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City Line) are all close at hand. There is also good road access to the M4, A4 and A40.
Lease: 99 years from 31 October 1969 (approximately 52 years remaining)
Service charge: approximately £9,000 per annum (including building insurance, sinking fund, heating and hot water)
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.
Examining the trade journals published soon after the completion of 65 Ladbroke Grove, it is clear that most viewed the building as a thoroughly progressive and welcome addition to the London skyline. A 1938 article in Building, for instance, gave the following glowing assessment: “Its light construction and elegant detail [provide] a diametric contrast to more heavily designed neighbours. In effect, however, and owing to the excellent proportions of the newcomer, this contrast is not so much startling as extremely refreshing.”
The Architects’ Journal from 29 December 1938 records the use of external materials: “Flint bricks, steel casement windows, tubular steel and wire mesh handrails. Wall adjoining gallery is of pale blue tiles and roof balustrade is of wired glass.”
A recent book describes the combination of materials at 65 Ladbroke Grove as “very well handled”. Furthermore, it portrays the building as a perfectly executed example of the Corbusian ideal: “The flats follow the same programme as Lawn Road [Wells Coates’s Isokon apartments] but with more architectural ability: the well-serviced anonymity of Le Corbusier’s machine à habiter.”
Maxwell Fry was one of the few prominent Modernist architects working in Britain during the 1930s who was actually British – most had emigrated from Continental Europe, where the Modern Movement originated. Among his most famous projects are Impington Village College in Cambridgeshire, Miramonte in Kingston-upon-Thames, and the Sun House in Hampstead. He also collaborated with Le Corbusier in Chandigarh. Number 65 Ladbroke Grove was designed when Fry was in practice with Walter Gropius, the founder of the famous Bauhaus School and one of the pioneers of Modern architecture.
Edwin Maxwell Fry
A key figure in the British Modern Movement, Maxwell Fry (1899 – 1987) was a close friend of Le Corbusier (with whom he worked at Chandigarh, India) and Walter Gropius. Much of his work was carried out in collaboration with his architect wife, Jane Drew. Fry is known not only for his one-off houses, but also for the high-quality, low-cost housing schemes he carried out for public authorities and private developers, such as Kensal House in West London. He was awarded the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal in 1964, and many of his works are now listed by English Heritage.
Key Residential Projects
Flats in London
House in London
House in London with Walter Gropius