Ever on the quest for luxury, Landmass London’s dapper Managing Director Alan Waxman has a fresh take. Luxury has a new: “Most designers and developers give people what they think their clients want. If you’re cutting edge you give them what you think they should have. That’s the ultimate luxury.” His latest scheme 76 Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill is a case in point. Everything is bespoke right down to the Fendi towels emblazoned with the house number. Luxury has a price: £6.95 million.
Typical of London, the site is tight. Two basement levels optimise available space. “Everyone says this house is like the Tardis!” Alan reveals. A three storey above ground end of terrace replaces a ramshackle two storey house. “There’s always a story when it comes to buying a site,” he says. “I met a girl at Annabel’s and we swapped numbers. I invited her out for lunch which quickly turned into a business lunch when she mentioned she wanted to sell her house. We called over to the house which was in a bad state of repair, climbing over dustbins to get inside.”
Full height voids add a sense of drama and airiness to the interior of architects McCusker Storey McIntosh’s replacement building. “At Landmass we concentrate on how to use the space and light,” relates Alan. “Our aim is to get the wow out of the property. We spend an enormous amount of time planning space and volume without any consideration to finishes and specification. They come later. It’s very much less is more. We’ve used the same white wall colour and the same timber flooring throughout.” The one exception is the snug dark cinema. “Panels of wallpaper and tiles are used as sexy features. That’s the Landmass signature. I believe I’m the only developer in the world to have trademarked his concept: Volumetric Design.”
“I’ve an 11 second rule,” he explains. “That’s all the time I have to make people comfortable with my product after they’ve walked through the front door. First impressions are very important for both people and properties.” At 76 Ladbroke Grove, the front door opens into a full depth open plan living area which bursts into a double height void overlooking the angular walled garden to the rear. Landmass London’s wow in action. Downstairs, dashing winemaker turned sommelier for the evening Ben Walgate serves Gusbourne Brut Reserve in the top lit basement kitchen. “Gusbourne is a small exclusive vineyard in Kent,” he comments. “This English sparkling wine is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.” Luxury has a taste: Gusbourne.