HAMPSTEAD HOUSE WITH TENNIS COURT, SWIMMING POOL AND SUMMER HOUSE INSPIRED BY AFRICAN ROYAL KRAAL FOR SALE
On the back of the London housing market being restarted, joint sole agents Aston Chase and Knight Frank are pleased to offer for sale a magnificent 9,194 sqft (854.2 sqm) detached residence and summer house on Greenaway Gardens, one of Hampstead’s most sought after streets, located on an exceptional 0.77 acre (0.31 hectare) plot which features a sweeping lawn, full size tennis court, swimming pool and an oval shaped summer house designed by South African architect Ted Levy, in a style inspired by a South African Royal Kraal, recalling the late President Nelson Mandela’s beloved Shambala retreat in Limpopo.
Providing all the amenities of a country house in Hampstead, of the type you would find in Kenwood, the house on Greenaway Gardens has been in the same family ownership for 56 years and this is the first time it has been available to purchase in all that time. Whilst requiring updating, the property, which is located on a unique ‘T’ shaped plot, has vast potential and subject to the necessary consents could be substantially extended or redeveloped behind the existing façade to create one of the most outstanding residences in Hampstead.
The detached Neo-Georgian house on Greenaway Gardens was built in 1923-24, designed by renowned English architect Charles Henry Bourne Quennell (1872-1935) in Quennell’s trademark Arts & Crafts and Queen Anne influenced style, with an elegant red brick façade with pillared entrance portico, brick detailing and a tile hipped roof with dormers and tall feature brick chimneys.
The house, which has a grand reception hall, three/four reception rooms and a large family kitchen and breakfast room and was previously owned by a family who worked in the furniture business. In 1964 the property was acquired by the current owners who built the swimming pool in circa 1965 and landscaped the gardens, building up the lawn banks and creating the beautifully stocked garden including fur trees sourced from the Windsor Castle & Park Estate.
in 1971 they purchased an adjacent piece of land with tennis court and built the adjoining summer house, creating the present ‘T’ shaped plot which is one of the largest in the local area.
What is extremely rare with this plot is that the unique ‘T’ layout provides the property with the benefit of the main house not needing to have its leisure facilities in a basement or directly behind the property, instead the main house is separated from the leisure facilities by the sweeping rear lawn, with the tennis court, swimming pool and summer house discreetly located beyond, ensuring that the leisure facilities do not impose on the house.
In 1971 the owners commissioned acclaimed South African architect Ted Levy of Levy Benjamin & Partners to create the summer house to the rear of the property. The architectural practice, led by a trio of South African emigres who had relocated to London due to their support for equal rights in apartheid South Africa, came to define contemporary architecture in Hampstead during the 1970s with clients including Peter Sellers, Anne Howe, Baroness Serota, Britt Ekland and Michael Sellers.
Levy based the design of the circular shaped summer house on a traditional South African Royal Kraal with a dramatic main reception room with curved walls with exposed brickwork and a traditional African-style open plan feature fireplace with sculptural hearth and dark floor tiles recalling crocodile skin.
The summer house has a separate lounge/snug room, a kitchen and changing rooms and shower facilities for the outside swimming pool located in an interconnecting space which has curved walls and an oval shaped floorplan echoing Kraal design. Only the traditional vaulted Kraal roof was not installed – Levy feared local planners would reject it – so a flat roof with dramatic large timber ceiling beams were installed instead, recalling a South African farmstead. The external terrace tiles are continued within to create a pleasing inside-outside building when the glass sliding doors are open, creating a perfect location for entertaining and relaxation.
Kraals in South Africa are most famously associated with the late President Nelson Mandela, who was born into the Thembu Royal family in Mvezo; Mandela’s Shambala retreat, with its oval Kraals and thatched bungalows, is now an international centre for Reconciliation and Peace and a Game Reserve for the preservation of wildlife.
Over many years the current owners have held large summer parties for their friends and associates on the lawns and around the summer house and pool attended by figures from the worlds of politics, media, culture and film including politicians Lord Carrington, Tom King and Lord Tebbit, actresses Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson, TV astrologer Russell Grant, actor Michael Caine, TV presenter Michael Parkinson, comedians Bob Monkhouse and Ronnie Corbett, Bianca Jagger and Countess Raine Spencer, playwright Anthony Shaffer, international conductor and pianist Antonio Pappano and celebrity tailor Doug Hayward.
Located predominantly over three floors the main house has a reception hall with grand staircase and three/four reception rooms consisting of the living room, reception room, dining room and drawing room, with modern full glass sliding glass doors in the drawing room opening onto the sweeping rear lawns and substantial grounds. There is also the large family kitchen and breakfast room on this floor.
On the first floor the principal bedroom spans the entire depth of the house and provides a generously sized bedroom lined with wardrobes, a walk-in dressing room with built in wardrobes and a principal bathroom with freestanding bath and walk-in shower. There are four further bedrooms (one with ensuite) on this floor and the family bathroom.
On the top floor of the house there are three bedrooms, one with ensuite bathroom, and a separate toilet with washbasin. The property is complete with a sauna, front carriage drive, loft storage, wine cellar and substantial store rooms in the basement and a two/three car garage adjoining the house.