THE BLACKBOOK: £22.5 Million Contemporary Luxury Home By Claudio Silvestrin

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Five Cannon Lane, in a quiet conservation area in the heart of Hampstead Village, London NW3, is a contemporary minimalist home designed by world famous architect Claudio Silvestrin. Extending to approximately 7,940 sq ft (737 sq m) this serene luxury home is offered for sale by Beauchamp Estates: spread over 5 floors, with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, multiple reception areas, spa area and indoor pool, the property comes complete with a terraced garden designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, Chris Beardshaw.

Cannon Lane, is a picturesque and exceptionally private road, minutes from Hampstead Village and Hampstead Heath. The charm of the ‘village in the city’ has made this enclave of London a highly desirable location that attracts many high profile and discerning individuals.

The site, purchased in 2007, previously contained an unremarkable house designed in the 70s that failed to maximize the benefits of the super location, both in respect of accommodation and view. The developers wanted to create an exceptional home both in respect of style and scale: plots in this conservation area of London that do not contain listed properties are rare and therefore something quite exceptional would be required: international architect Claudio Silvestrin was appointed, renown for his work with Armani and previous collaborations with Kanye West, Calvin Klein and Anish Kapoor. Working through a two stage planning strategy, the first planning grant was issued in September 2010.

Silvestrin ultimately delivered a contemporary home, that while not disturbing the proportions of the topography of Cannon Lane has the ‘wow’ factor in spades.  After numerous iterations of the design a final blueprint was agreed and approved by the local authority in June 2013. Silvestrin not only designed the house, but also the interiors, ensuring continuity of style and that no detail was left unnoticed or ignored.

The simple unassuming brick exterior of Five Cannon Lane while consistent with the calm serene atmosphere of the interior belies the true scale and cathedral like proportions of the property.  Once through the front entrance, standing in the modest minimalist hall, the house begins to reveal itself.  With the gentle sound off running water draws you forward, the far-off sound of more ebullient water draws you to the right and down a seemingly never ending flight of stairs, that curve and disappear into the distance.  The space starts to unfold, revealing immediately that the interior style is both calm and elegant, yet lavish, with minimalist lines and a carefully curated pallet of earth and natural tones.  The key materials used throughout that make up the earth through to ochre palette, are porphyry stone, from the Italian Dolomites, oxidized brass and bronze and oak. These materials are used throughout the house, in every area, which explains the almost £1 million spent on the stone.  The calm and warm yellow ochre of the porphyry stone unites with the warm natural oak floors and oxidized metal detailing, to create a unique and pleasing environment, that the absence of unnecessary ornamentation adds to: a tranquil oasis away from the city streets.

Moving forward from the entrance hall, along a short corridor, drawn toward the gentle sound of running water, you are met by the first of many ‘reveals’: a wall of glass, opening onto a large terrace, overlooking the multi-level garden and the London skyline beyond and to the south.  On the left is a concealed access to the garage and rear staircase to the lower floors.  Immediately to the right is the sweeping 50 ft main reception, with lift to the two lower floors and further floor to ceiling windows and terrace, enabling enjoyment of the view.  The large reception with feature wall also has a built-in console, discretely containing wet-bar facilities: created in porphyry stone it blends seamlessly with its surroundings.  Each piece of stone used in the property was cut precisely for the location and position in which it was finally to be fitted: possibly one of the most precise and complicated jigsaw puzzles ever, but the precision cutting has meant that no single piece of stone is more than 3 mm out of position: ensuring that the smallest of recesses are exact.

Discretely located in the near corner of the reception is a spiral staircase, contained in its own column.  The continued use of the three core signature materials, porphyry stone, oak and oxidized metal, bring simplicity to the staircase, discretely accented by floor level wall lighting.  Rising to the first floor landing, off which are the principle bedroom and three further bedrooms.  The principle bedroom, with two private balconies: one south facing and the other west facing, also has a full en-suite bathroom, with stone feature bath and paired vanity basins.  Off the main bedroom area is a wardrobe room and unique dressing area, which offers an internal view to the main entrance hall below.  A family bathroom and three further bedrooms are accessed from the landing: two to the rear, overlooking the garden below and sharing a south facing balcony and one to the front with ensuite shower room.

Rising to the second floor via the spiral staircase the fifth bedroom benefits from a south facing balcony and also access to the roof, which has been planted and is also an emergency escape route. At the very top of the house, this beautifully light room provides a feeling of privacy from the rest of the house: an inner sanctum. The calm simplicity and use of signature materials has been extended to all the bedrooms and bathrooms, creating continuity of style and luxury.

Returning the main entrance hall to be met by the sound of running water, drawn to the more ebullient tone is a further reveal: the forty two step stone staircase, reminiscent of an ancient castle or grand cathedral, leading down.

Descending the stairs to reach the first lower floor, containing the dining room, kitchen and pantry, and cinema, it is clear that this is a house for both grand entertaining and intimate dining.  The dining room opens at the rear to the lower level garden, with calming water feature, while on the opposite wall is a contemporary feature fire, housed for maximum impact in a wall of stone. Leading off the dining room to the right, is a large home cinema with state of the art sound system and to the left the kitchen, with large island service area, perpendicular to which is a long breakfast bar, facing the lower garden, visible through the floor to ceiling glass doors.  In order to ensure that the kitchen does not disrupt the consistency and flow of the design, the fittings are bespoke and by Italian minimalist kitchen specialist, Minotti Cucine, who Silvestrin designs for. The result is both uncompromising and stunning. Perhaps the ultimate luxury, and certainly a cook’s dream, is the walk-in pantry, which is climate controlled. The kitchen is perfect for both intimate informal dining and cooking for large groups, or use by caterers.

Returning to the grand stone staircase and following the gently descending curve of the stairs, you are led to the source of the ebullient water: a cascade at the entrance to the spa and pool complex which greets you at the foot of the stairs.  The cascade, while appearing to be part of the pool, is separated by a glass wall and door, ensuring that humidity from the spa and pool area are retained. A strategic skylight allows natural daylight to reach the pool and leading off the pool to the left are the gym, changing facilities, sauna and steam room. At the far end of the pool complex is the treatment/relaxation area, the central part of which appears to be a floating island, as inlets to the pool run around it.  Off to the right is the utility room and a self contained studio apartment.

In creating such a unique residence the developers also wished to ensure that the outside space was also used effectively and in such a way that it complimented the design and layout of the house.  Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, Chris Beardshaw was appointed to design the garden, which accommodates four levels, including the roof garden, accessed from the second floor.  The garden, in addition to providing a feature to lookout upon also provides a number of outdoor spaces for relaxation and entertaining.

Every aspect of Five Cannon Lane has been designed and built to an exceptional standard and with a rare level of precision.  This has created an exceptional and unique home, as recognized by the LEAF Awards in 2016, when Five Cannon Lane won Best International Interior Design.

Claudio Silvestrin said: ‘The feeling of Five Cannon Lane is one of calm and serenity; it’s almost a meditative space. To achieve this simplicity, technology is mostly hidden and there is no ornamentation of any kind. However there is drama – the 42 step stone staircase that leads down to the pool and spa which recalls an ancient site, for example.’

Rosy Khalastchy, of Beauchamp Estates said: ‘Five Cannon Lane is an exceptional property in a wonderfully secluded setting.  The discrete nature of the property: unobtrusively nestling in Cannon Lane, like a hidden gemstone.  Once inside, the true nature and scale of the house starts to reveal itself, showing clearly how the spectacular design and space is super for both relaxed living and entertaining.”

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Courtesy Lawrie Cornish

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