GRADE I LISTED REGENCY TOWNHOUSE
PARK SQUARE WEST, REGENT’S PARK
History and Context
The site comprises two buildings: the first, a formal Grade I-listed Regency townhouse, constructed in the early 1820s to the designs of the well-known classicist John Nash, architect to the Prince Regent; and the second, a smaller nineteenth-century mews house to the rear, both of which now fall under the same ownership.
The main house, situated on Park Square West, forms an important part of Nash’s urban design for The Regent’s Park and its approach from Portland Place. The terrace’s principal stuccoed façade and formal classical detailing are widely recognised to be of great architectural and historical significance, justifying its Grade I listing and reputation as one of the country’s foremost exemplars of Regency architecture.
The house overlooks Park Square Gardens, one of the largest private squares in London, and the complete terrace remains under the freehold control of the Crown Estate which, along with Westminster Council, ensures the ongoing consistency and integrity of the buildings.
The client’s vision for the project was to connect the main building with the mews house via a new enclosed courtyard room. This would enable the two buildings to function together as an integrated family home, whilst making better use of a redundant open space to between the two buildings.
One of the main challenges of this project was the particularly sensitive historic environment, and the need to conserve the integrity of the two existing buildings, in particular the projecting rear bay to the ground floor of the main townhouse. We therefore investigated various design options that would enable the courtyard room to be constructed within this setting, including a minimal, walk-on glass roof, and a more traditional lantern design, which is illustrated here.
As well as creating an enclosed courtyard room, careful consideration was given to the impact of the design on surrounding architectural features. The lantern was therefore designed in a traditional style, similar to others on adjacent buildings; and it was centered on the projecting bay window, with care taken to ensure it remained subservient to this and surrounding features.