Award-winning architects put craftsmanship at the heart of new homes in Kensington and Chelsea

Assael Architecture and Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, have completed a new residential development of 53 homes at 21 Young Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Using elegant brickwork and stone, Assael’s design makes a significant yet sensitive contribution along Young Street – a street that connects Kensington Square, one of the oldest and first listed squares in Kensington, with the vibrancy of High Street Kensington.

Formerly occupied by a 1960’s concrete NCP car park that was in stark contrast to the surrounding listed buildings, the site has now been transformed into an elegant residential building with a focus on artistry and craftsmanship.

Russell Pedley, director and co-founder of Assael Architecture, said:

“Young Street is a remarkable architectural achievement in one of London’s most desirable locations. Working alongside Grainger, we have transformed the site into a building that is sympathetic to the surrounding townscape, while remaining undeniably contemporary, and with public art and beauty at its core.”

Located in London’s first conservation area and surrounded by a variety of listed buildings, including the Grade II listed Barker’s department store opposite, the architectural design was inspired by its context. With exceptional brickwork and stone detailing, the scheme has revitalised the former service road with an established presence, complemented by commissioned public art along its frontage.

This artwork, entitled ‘Arbour’, was designed by Shaun Leane, an internationally acclaimed designer famous for his pioneering and innovative approach to contemporary jewellery and for his work with Alexander McQueen. The beautiful bronze-cast leaves along the balustrades and gates were designed to recreate leaves caught in a light breeze from Kensington Square, blown across 21 Young Street and towards the high street, working gracefully with the architectural design. Assael and Grainger collaborated with Futurecity to commission the artwork.

Beyond the facade, residents are greeted by an on-site concierge, a fully furnished reception room and library, a gym, private cinema room and underground car park adorned with artwork, and an external landscaped courtyard at the heart of the scheme.

On being part of the project, Shaun Leane said:

“The 21 Young Street commission has filled me with energy, it has been both exciting and challenging to be presented with the possibility of decorating a building’s facade and working to a scale larger than I ever have before. I believe that with creative freedom, innovation can truly flourish. To be invited to create a piece of art such as this and for it to be protected for 125 years is truly an honour and testament to our future legacy”.

Michael Keaveney, Development Director, from Grainger plc, says:

“We are delighted to open the doors on our new residential scheme at 21 Young Street. Working closely with Assael Architecture, we have delivered homes of exceptional quality and in a beautifully-crafted building in Kensington and Chelsea.  As long-term investors and managers of residential homes in the UK, our interests go beyond just the development process.  We have challenged ourselves and our partners to create a building that will not only stand the test of time, but be creative in its design and complement this unique part of Kensington.”