Spotlight on West Kensington
Wed 30 Apr 2014
Three great Victorian institutions are at the heart of West Kensington in west London - The Queens Club,
exclusive home of the pre-Wimbledon tennis tournament, Olympia Exhibition Centre, and Lamda, the countrys
oldest drama school.
Olympias art deco Empire Hall in Hammersmith Road, now known as Olympia Central, was designed by
architect Joseph Emberton in 1930 and is the exhibition complexs most visible face.
However, Henry Edward Coes original exhibition hall, now called Olympia Grand, remains Olympias
architectural gem. Home to the annual Horse of the Year Show, its elegant glass-and-steel barrel roof, 115ft high, was built in just 12 weeks in 1885. It carries over 85 tons of glass and covers nearly an acre.
The Queens Club, which opened in 1886, the same year as Olympia, claims to be the first multipurpose sports
complex built anywhere in the world. Since 2007 it has been owned by its members and over the years has
hosted football, rugby and cricket. Today its facilities are restricted to lawn tennis, real tennis, rackets and
squash. This years Aegon Championships tennis tournament runs from June 9-15.
Lamda, one of Britains leading drama schools, started life in 1861 as the London Academy of Music. Former
pupils include Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Kinnear, Martin Shaw and David Suchet. Its president, acclaimed stage and screen actor Timothy West, 79, who recently made his EastEnders debut, is spearheading an 18.4 million redevelopment of the Talgarth Road campus. Houses and flats for sale in West Kensington West Kensington is dominated by large mansion flat blocks, with the most impressive examples in the Fitzgeorge & Fitzjames conservation area. Built in 1897 they were described at the time as the grandest of the West Kensington mansion flats, with lifts and separate servants quarters. These spacious homes now sell for as much as 1,000 a square foot. The most expensive apartment for sale in West Kensington now is a four-bedroom, 2,820sq ft property in Fitzgeorge Avenue , on the market for 2.65 million. There are large Victorian terrace houses in the Gunter Estate conservation area north of Talgarth Road, developed by brothers James and Robert Gunter, whose family built large areas of South Kensington and Chelsea. Most have been divided into flats, but there are a number of Dutch gable houses in Gunterstone Road. One of them, with seven bedrooms and in need of refurbishment, is on the market for 2.35 million. North of Hammersmith Road in the Brook Green area there is a real mix. Youll find large Victorian terrace houses - mostly converted into flats - along Sinclair Road; large family houses on the green and the surrounding roads; two- and three-bedroom cottages in the Masbro Road area that sell for between 800,000 and 1.73 million, and modern flats in the Kensington West development in Blythe Road. The most expensive house for sale in West Kensington is a large, unmodernised, 3,576sq ft property in Sinclair Road with a pretty filigreecanopy above the impressive portico, on the market for 4 million. The most expensive family house in the Brook Green area currently for sale is in Applegarth Road . The four-storey Victorian home has five bedrooms, a pretty conservatory and a paved back garden, and is on the market at 2.4 million.
Average prices: buying houses and flats in West Kensington
One-bedroom flat: 741,000
Two-bedroom flat: 1.24 million
Two-bedroom house : 1.6 million
Three-bedroom house: 2.05 million
Well-connected: Barons Court is one of three Tube stations serving West Kensington
Travel: the areas Tube stations are West Kensington, Kensington Olympia and Barons Court. All three are on
the District line, and the Piccadilly line stops at Barons Court. In addition, West Kensington is on the Overground service with trains between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction. All stations are in Zone 2 and an annual
travelcard costs 1,472.
New-build homes in West Kensington
375 Kensington High Street is a development of more than 400 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, duplexes and penthouses at the junction of Kensington High Street and Warwick Road. The project is by St Edward, part of the Berkeley Group, and the latest phase, Benson House, launches on 31 May and 1 June. Prices have not yet been released but other available flats range from 930,000 to 3,545,000. Call 020 7118 0375 for details.
The demolition and development of Earls Court Exhibition Centre by Capco will transform the area west of
Warwick Road and north of Lillie Road. Sir Terry Farrells masterplan gained outline planning permission at the
end of last year from the two local councils concerned. The proposals for the 77-acre site will take 15 years to complete and include up to 7,500 new homes - 1,500 of
them affordable - arranged around a new high street and riverside park. There will also be a new primary school, leisure centre and health facilities. The exhibition centre is likely to be demolished next year to make way for the scheme.
In April 2014, Capco launched Lillie Square (020 7381 9800) in Seagrave Road, south of Lillie Road and outside
the Earls Court masterplan area. Lillie Square will have 808 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, with prices
starting at 595,000. First completions are expected in 2016.