Ospringe Road, London NW5


Architect: Malcolm Smith

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“Neat brick and oxidised zinc form an angular façade which hints at a transformative internal renovation”

Positioned on one of the most sought-after roads in Kentish Town, this wonderful three-bedroom house was designed by Malcolm Smith of the renowned design practice Arup in 2009. Originally built in the 1970s, it was sympathetically reimagined to blend its mid-century bones with a striking contemporary extension. The house is set within a secluded plot with a south-west facing garden. Sitting between Tufnell Park and Kentish Town, Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath are within walking distance.

The Tour

The design is characterised by the seamless combination of older brick and slate forms and the newer extension clad in oxidised zinc, which protrudes with striking angularity. An intriguing glimpse of the house’s angular profile can be seen from street view, hidden behind luxuriant foliage from its surrounding garden. Sitting behind a tall gate, the entrance opens onto a paved footpath that leads to the front door.

Inside, the house has been expertly transformed with a sensitive approach to materials, such as bamboo floors that add warmth. All windows are new and double-glazed, with an integrated alarm system for security. The bright entrance hall has a useful storage cupboard, and an original wrought-iron spiral staircase ascending to the upper floor creates a sense of contrast against a fresh white colour palette.

The house has an upside-down layout to ensure the living spaces are filled with light. A voluminous double-height living room occupies one end of the plan; extensive glazing has been added on the south aspect to frame leafy views of a mature cherry tree and an ivy wall. At the other end is a dining area, and an understated kitchen is configured in a U-shape with Corian doors and stainless steel worktops. The architect has added bespoke joinery that cleverly frames the kitchen – a blue ‘tower of books’ – to create multiple configurations of the living spaces that are predominantly open plan.

The bespoke shelving continues through to the lower level, which has white resin flooring throughout. Similar to the kitchen, it conceals a spacious family bathroom that splits the plan. The main bedroom, which sits on one side, has a built-in bed frame with well-concealed storage for minimalist living, as well as a walk-in wardrobe. On the other side are two additional double bedrooms with direct access to the garden. One is currently configured as a study, with a clever built-in storage/desk unit that conceals a fold-down bed. The bathroom has a large bath, Vola taps and the sanitaryware is by Duravit. There is also a storage cupboard that sits adjacent to the central stairwell.

Outdoor Space

A glazed door in the living room opens onto an external steel staircase that leads down into a terraced garden that wraps around the south and west aspects. Enclosed by London stock brick walls, there are richly-planted beds shaded by a mature cherry tree, bay trees, and an acer. There is a separate terrace outside the bedrooms, with space for a small table and chairs.

The Area

Ospringe Road is a quiet residential street just five minutes from the heart of Kentish Town. The Rose & Crown is a 10-minute walk, serving craft beer and Southeast Asian fusion food in a sunken beer garden. The high street and surrounding area have a great selection of independent shops, cafés, and restaurants, notably Kentish Town Stores, Saint Espresso and Kossoffs. There are also excellent pubs nearby, including The Parakeet, The Lion and the Unicorn and Lady Hamilton. Local wine bar Half Cut Market, which focuses on sourcing from low-intervention producers, is also within walking distance. The famous nightlife of Chalk Farm and Camden Town are also nearby, as well as Tufnell Park’s bustling high street.

Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill are only a 20-minute walk away. The latter has tennis courts, a lido and a weekly farmers market. The Heath is one of London’s most popular public parks, with the men’s and women’s swimming ponds offering year-round freshwater swimming.

Tuffnell Park Underground Station is a five-minute walk away and runs Northern Line and Thameslink services for quick access to the city. Gospel Oak station (London Overground) is within a 15-minute walk for services to Richmond, Clapham Junction and Stratford.

Council Tax Band: F

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.

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