Kensington Chelsea Architect - Holland Park house extension with timber floor and folding doors

Architecture for London has completed a number of bespoke homes in Kensington.

Our architects have expertise in the particular planning requirements of the borough, of which 70 per cent is protected by 35 separate conservation areas, and there are 3,800 listed buildings.


View Architecture for London’s portfolio to see our residential projects in Kensington, London.


Our expertise in Kensington conservation areas

With our house extension and refurbishment at Brewster Gardens, North Kensington, planning consent was achieved for a contemporary rear extension to a terraced property in a conservation area. The extension features a frameless glass picture window and sliding oak framed doors to the garden.

At Christchurch Street we excavated a basement underneath a detached Edwardian house, creating a swimming pool, gym and underground car parking.

Kensington architect extension5
Architecture for London’s brick and oak house extension in North Kensington.

Planning permission in Kensington

The borough has a unique built environment with many historic buildings. Uniform terraces and squares give a consistent character. Much of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s planning policy design guidance focuses on respecting and enhancing this historic character.

Architecture for London has significant experience in RBKC, having completed numerous successful planning applications for extensions and alterations to existing buildings.

Islington architects - refurbishment of georgian listed flat
A refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed flat by Architecture for London.

As Kensington architects we are familiar with the details of the borough’s Local Plan and Core Strategy documents, particularly in relation to conservation and design.

Loft conversions and roof extension in Kensington

Extensions and conservatories should respect the host building. The design should draw inspiration from the surrounding context and character. This does not, however, mean that an extension must be traditional in style if the host building is traditional.

The design may be contemporary, yet influenced by the proportion and materials of a traditional host building.

As architects in Kensington, Architecture for London design house extensions in a careful and sympathetic manner. When this is achieved, the extension has the potential to improve the quality and character of the building, and the council is more likely to support alterations. Rear extensions should normally respect the building line of any neighbouring properties.

Roof alterations, loft conversions and additional storeys should be sympathetic to the age and design of the property. Materials should be carefully selected due to the visibility of alterations at this level.

RBKC may allow additional storeys and roof alterations where the character of a terrace has been compromised by previous roof extensions.

Roof extensions are likely to be approved where infilling improves the composition of the surrounding buildings.

The borough will resist additional storeys, and roof level alterations on:

  • complete terraces or groups of buildings where the existing roof line is unimpaired by extensions (or have only isolated extensions)
  • buildings that have an existing additional storey or mansard
  • properties that include a roof structure of architectural interest
  • buildings that are higher than surrounding properties
  • terraces where the roof line alterations may impact longer views from public spaces
  • mansion blocks where an additional storey might affect the architectural composition

Kensington and Chelsea basement planning consent architect designed

Alterations to listed buildings in Kensington

Smaller alterations may include improvements to accessibility for less able people, and removing unsympathetic previous alterations. These may include removing alarms, cameras, shutters and other security equipment. The removal of HVAC equipment and unsightly signage is also encouraged. It should be noted that approval must be obtained from RBKC for the majority of these scenarios unless the work is considered a repair.

Small-scale alterations may be necessary to improve a building and make it better suited to modern life.

The architecture of Kensington

Kensington was first developed with large, suburban houses with generous grounds during the Georgian period. Subsequently, the majority of these properties were demolished to make way for a much tighter grain of terraces during the Victorian era. Stucco combined with red or London stock brick are prominent finishes.

Some Georgian streets and squares remain, including Kensington Square and Campden Hill Square.

Holland House was one of the first grand estates in the borough, dating from the early 17th Century. The grounds originally stretched from Earls Court to Holland Park Avenue. Unfortunately the house was largely destroyed during world war two, with the remains surviving in what is now Holland Park.

Also notable from the 17th Century is Kensington Palace. This building was designed by Christopher Wren and was subsequently extended in the following centuries. Most recently it has benefitted from a £11 million refurbishment.

Aside from classical buildings, Kensington is home to a number of post-war modernist buildings. Perhaps most notable is Erno Goldfinger’s Grade II listed brutalist housing scheme Trellick Tower which stands to the north of Portobello Road.

Home interior design in Kensington & Chelsea
A refurbished modernist house in Kensington by Architecture for London.

Other recent Architecture for London projects in RBKC include rear extensions and basements in:

Visit our residential architecture projects page to view our completed homes in RBKC.