Sasha Gebler is one half of the Gebler Tooth architecture practice behind the restoration of The Electric Cinema, and now he’s turning his attention to luxury residential developments
Sasha Gebler met David Tooth, his partner in their architecture and design practice, in the Department of Architecture back when they were at Cambridge. The pair have come a long way since their undergraduate days. Having gone on to establish Gebler Tooth (a RIBA Chartered Practice of Architects and Designers) in 1984, they have worked with the great and the good, and boast a number of high profile clients including Universal Film, Working Title, The British Olympic Association, The Football Association, Soho House, Soho Estates, British Airways, BAA, Heathrow Express and Theo Fennell.
Airports and aviation are a big part of their portfolio, and they have been commissioned for most major UK airports including Heathrow, London City and Gatwick – as well as designing spectacular, upmarket residential properties. The example on Hereford Road, W11, pictured above, have just hit the market.
The iconic Electric Cinema, diner and club on Portobello Road is work Gebler is particularly proud of. The first project was undertaken on behalf of Peter Simon of Monsoon, but the finished building was let to their now longstanding international client Soho House. Gebler Tooth initiated and developed the scheme, which resulted in the rescue and restoration of the UK’s oldest and first surviving purpose built cinema – which was at the point of collapse in 1998 – and their vision went on to lead the way for the future of other boutique cinemas offering a totally different and better experience for the customer.
‘We developed a scheme of restoration that included a new public restaurant and brasserie on the adjoining site and a member’s club for the film and television industry above,’ Gebler tells me. ‘We combined period detail with the latest sound and vision technology.’ Then, in 2012, they were commissioned to revisit the project after a fire damaged much of the club and diner.
They were able to create a new roof garden, enlarge the member’s club and bring in more daylight, and give the ground floor diner a much needed facelift after 14 years of service. ‘The result is a combination of speak easy glamour and old school comfort, and The Electric has maintained its reputation as a premier west London destination throughout,’ says Gebler.
Gebler Tooth’s residential projects are just as remarkable for their flair, creativity and attention to detail as their commercial and public spaces. Also in west London, the group has recently put three glorious townhouses – 17, 19 and 21 Hereford Road – on the market, along with partners Bournehill London and LXA. Sasha describes them as ‘three individual townhouses that combine the elegant proportions of the original buildings with contemporary lateral space’. Each one is steel framed, with concrete floors and underfloor heating throughout.
Intricately planned on what may have seemed a rather tight site to the uninitiated, the development comprises of two original but substantially remodelled houses (a three bedroom and a four bedroom) presenting a traditional frontage to the streetscape and a third property at 21 Hereford Road. This sits just behind, and was created on the site of a former car repair garage. It’s a truly striking, light-filled home with five bedrooms, wrapped around an impressive atrium.
‘It’s courtyard-like, with long views, and feels like an art gallery,’ enthuses Gebler. ‘The challenge was to fill part of the space created which was underground with natural light so that it does not feel like a basement, and to create additional space on the ground and first floors that is luminous, serene and private.’
Spacious outdoor terraces and en-suite bathrooms in all three properties complete the sumptuous lifestyle they afford in the midst of cosmopolitan Westbourne Grove, and it’s worth noting that all of them also have private quarters with self-sufficient utilities, neatly tucked away for guests or au pairs and nannies. Styled and finished by Luxe Interiors, it’s clear to see that no expense has been spared. These are very special properties, in which to enjoy the height of luxurious living.
Visit cityvillage.co.uk to register your interest, or contact Richard Broer at Douglas and Gordon Estate Agents, 172 Kensington Church Street W8 4BN on 020 3733 5957; firstname.lastname@example.org; See more about GTA at geblertooth.co.uk