Designed by the esteemed Knox Bhavan Architects, this grand five-bedroom Victorian townhouse occupies a sought-after position on Bushey Hill Road in Camberwell. The duo’s creative ethos permeates the interiors, which have existed in several iterations over the years and now constitute a creative, family home with an inviting palette of materials, colours and surprising, sometimes playful, details. A carefully planted south-facing garden extends at the rear, insulated in turn by neighbouring gardens that give the house a secluded feel despite its proximity to the buzz of Camberwell Church Street and Denmark Hill.
Knox Bhavan is an acclaimed London-based architecture practice. It has the rare honour of having no less than three houses shortlisted for the prestigious Manser Medal, winning it twice with Holly Barn in Norfolk, sold by The Modern House in 2012, and March House in 2022. The architects have also won the Grand Designs House of the Year twice among a plethora of other awards and accolades.
The house is approached via a quiet tree-lined street and is set back from the road behind a traditional wrought iron gate and mature bushes. Its typical stock brick and stucco-dressed faade, partly covered by swathes of wisteria, belies the inventive configuration and impressive proportions of the interiors, which extend to almost 3000 sq ft across five floors.
A voluminous, light-filled double reception room lies adjacent to the entrance, care of the generous sash windows that sit at either side of the plan. Original period features have been meticulously preserved and retained, from the panelled box shuttering that frames the bay window, to the intricate cornicing overhead that has been cleverly highlighted by an inventive use of colour. Bespoke open bookshelves sit neatly in the alcoves, adding a dash of warmth against the neutral white walls. Solid oak floorboards ground the space.
The kitchen and dining room, at the back of the plan, extends into the garden at the rear to allow a greater sense of flow between indoors and out, further enhanced by a generous picture window positioned to take advantage of the view. An integrated bench and further bespoke shelving extend the length of the wall to maximise the internal plan and add additional concealed storage. Configured in a U-shape, sleek stainless steel worksurfaces contrast brilliantly against the cherrywood cabinetry and primary paint colours used throughout. Fully integrated, the kitchen also includes a premium-grade Wolf cooker. Purbeck blue marble lies underfoot, warmed by underfloor heating.
Five well-proportioned double bedrooms sit on the upper floors, with the main bedroom crowning the top of the house, reached via a floating staircase and with Le Corbusier’s ‘open hand’ motif cut into the bannister. The versatile room encompasses a dressing area and an en suite shower room positioned at the front, which mirrors the design of the bathroom below. Large windows have been employed to frame the cityscape ahead while drawing an exceptional quality of light deep within the plan. A bathroom with utility sits on the first floor, with an elevated pitch that creates a wonderful sense of extension to the internal plan. A sizeable games room also lies in the basement, painted in bold jewel tones.
Subject to an extensive renovation in recent months and with energy efficiency in mind, the house now has new double-glazed windows, roof and a heating system.
Accessed via the kitchen and living areas, the conservatory creates an easy transition into the garden while also providing a shaded spot to dine. An established garden extends from here, with leafy climbers and mature bushes that burst from the borders and ensure this area is awash with green all year round. Large slate tiles form a border around a sizeable lawned area, providing plenty of peaceful spots to read and entertain during the warmer months.
Camberwell is a thriving neighbourhood, kept young at heart by the presence of the Camberwell College of Art. The area has traditionally been home to lots of creatives; the studios of Anish Kapoor, recently designed by Caseyfiero Architects, and Raqib Shaw, are both nearby; South London Gallery, designed by 6A Architects, is a short walk away too. The iconic Jazzlive at the Crypt puts on consistently excellent shows every Friday night.
Bushey Hill Road is very close to Camberwell Church Street and its esteemed culinary scene. An excellent selection of independent restaurants, cafs and delis are all within walking distance from the house, including The Daily Goods coffee shop, Theo’s Pizza, the esteemed Toad Bakery, and The Camberwell Arms pub. The newly opened Grove Lane Deli is hugely popular for provisions along with Gladwell’s Grocery. There is also a weekly farmers’ market on Camberwell Green. Bellenden Road, Peckham’s pretty village, which has an equally desirable selection of restaurants, cafs, and pubs, is just a 20-minute walk away. The local Tesco Express and 24-hour Pure Gym are just around the corner.
Burgess Park is a five-minute walk and recently benefitted from a 6m facelift. Its 140 acres feature tennis courts, sports pitches, two community gardens, a gallery and an expansive lake where fishermen can enjoy a spot of carp fishing. The green spaces of Ruskin Park and Peckham Rye are both within easy walking distance. Local leisure facilities also include the nearby Butterfly Tennis Club and Camberwell Green swimming pool.
There are several excellent state and public schools in the area, including Dulwich College, James Allen’s Girls’ School, Alleyn’s School, The Villa Pre-Prep and Nursery, and Dog Kennel Hill Primary School.
Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye stations are a 20-minute walk away and run direct rail services to Victoria, Blackfriars and St Pancras International, and Overground services to Clapham Junction or Dalston Junction via Canada Water, which connects to the Jubilee Line. Camberwell is also well-served by at least 10 bus routes.
Council Tax Band: E