McLean Quinlan took one dilapidated Holland Park Victorian villa and transformed it into a gallery-worthy platform for Renaissance artwork, as well as a family home. Fiona McLean tells Corner how…
I was working on a bank holiday and got a phone call from overseas. What transpired was that our client – a family based in Switzerland – had kept an article about our Woodville Road project that ran in House and Garden and had decided that they wanted to work with us when they bought a house in London.
State of play
The house had not been touched for years but had a wonderful atmosphere. The family bought it in its raw and, frankly, neglected state; following a roof extension in the early 1900s, it was largely untouched apart from a 1970s conversion that created a separate basement flat.
The client wanted something that was contemporary and in which they’d be able to display their art pieces; they have a keen interest in Renaissance sculpture and carving, so it was important to create a space that would provide a dramatic platform for their collection. It is always a collaborative process. We design houses for the people who will live in them, not for us, so this involves meetings and drawings over many months. Gradually, we then refine every detail.
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