This exceptional modern house occupies a quiet and private location in the conservation area of Kingsdown, in the northern quarter of Bristol’s city centre. The architectural design of the house is contextually driven; built into the hillside to maximise the superlative views across the cityscape and surrounding Somerset countryside. Internal living space spans circa. 3,000 sq ft across three levels, with a dramatic central atrium drawing light throughout the entire house. A beautifully landscaped south east-facing walled garden, a sunken courtyard, and a roof terrace offer an excellent provision of outside space and there is private parking for up to three vehicles.
Built in 1991 as home for the architect, the house is one of a pair that sit side-by-side at the end of a no-through road, adjacent to a handsome terrace of Georgian townhouses. The structural foundations are built of concrete with brick infill, exposed frames and posts and painted brick walls. The result is an exciting and dramatic interior, dominated by simple linear forms, exceptional natural light and an honest approach to materials.
Living space is set over three storeys and the recent renovation created a clearer arrangement of spaces, with careful interior planning rationalising the circulation. The introduction of a structural glass ceiling in the atrium allows light to flood through the central plan and every room has been completely refurbished, with great attention to detail and finished with high-quality materials, fixtures and fittings.
The front façade is intentionally unassuming and as such, the house reveals itself with intrigue. The primary entrance is at street level, set beneath the undercroft. The entrance hall leads through to one of multiple reception rooms, with floor-to-ceiling steel-framed glazing and oak parquet running underfoot.
An open walkway leads across to the principle bedroom suite; a beautifully light space with breathtaking views across the city. A wall of bespoke cabinetry provides division between the bedroom and a beautifully finished bathroom, with floor-to-ceiling marble surround.
A cast-concrete winding stair leads to the cleverly conceived open-plan living space, where a dining area and contemporary log-burner are set beneath the triple-height ceiling, providing an impressive space for entertaining. A modern kitchen is positioned adjacent, with a line of cast-concrete creating a neat division. Service rooms – a pantry, utility space and food preparation areas are conveniently interlinked and a wall of Crittal-style glazing provides access to the sunken leafy courtyard, home to lush, leafy tree ferns and a productive fig tree.
The opposite side of the lower-ground floor is loosely arranged as a lounge area. Light streams through a further wall of steel-framed glazing, framing views out to the oasis of south east-facing garden, with brick walls providing great privacy. The garden has been thoughtfully landscaped; densely planted with wavering shots of purple verbena, umber grasses, beds of herbaceous perennials and a central seating area for warmer months. A bespoke shed with power supply is accessible from both gardens and a power supply suitable for car charging is available in the undercroft parking area.
There are two further double bedrooms on the top floor of the house plus a fantastically bright studio with a ribbon of glass framing unrivalled views of the city, with access here to the roof terrace. This room was previously a bedroom with en-suite, which could easily revert if desired.
Kingsdown has grown to be a highly desirable neighbourhood in recent years, with a rich picking of independent retail offerings, eateries and live music. Clifton, Montpelier and neighbouring Stokes Croft are awash with lively independent cafes, shops and bars, all within easy walking distance.
The independent food scene across the city has grown exponentially, with a diverse selection of restaurants cropping up in the centre and various neighbourhoods. The Michelin-starred Casamia and sister restaurant Paco Tapas, both founded by the Sánchez-Iglesias brothers, are notable highlights, alongside Wilsons in neighbouring Redland.
Well-served for cultural activities and annual festivals, the city has a thriving art and music scene; Arnolfini and Spike Island lead a well-regarded annual programme of contemporary exhibitions and performances. The Watershed, a well-loved institution located along the city centre’s harbourside, hosts talks and events alongside its programme of independent film screenings.
Temple Meads station is within walking distance, with the intercity rail service also easily accessed from Clifton Down, Redland or Montpelier stations, each within a ten-minute walk from the house.
Bath Spa is an 11-minute train journey from Bristol and connections to London are excellent, with direct services to Paddington from Bristol Temple Meads in approximately one hour and 34 minutes. Bristol is also incredibly well placed for easy access to the surrounding countryside and the Devon and Dorset coastlines. The city’s International Airport is reachable by car or bus in around 20 minutes.