The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

40 Buildings Saved

25. 64 Old Church Street, Chelsea, London

Status: Listed Grade II*
Architect: Erich Mendelssohn and Serge Chermayeff
Owners: Private home
Location: Old Church Street, Chelsea, London


This International Style house was built in 1936 by Erich Mendelssohn and Serge Chermayeff (of Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion) for publisher Denis Cohen. With two storeys, a flat roof and a long façade presenting itself to a Chelsea back street, it is part of a world-class residential duo of Modern Movement buildings along with No.66, designed in 1936 by Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry.


Both houses achieved a listing in 1970, although No.66 has been compromised by exterior tile hanging. In 1992, the owners of No.64 (by then Grade II*) commissioned additions from Norman Foster, replacing a later conservatory with a much larger structure, and a similar glass box at the north end. Historic England permitted the conservatory and new windows to the garden, but the C20 Society (supported by Serge Chermayeff) negotiated with the architects and the northern extension was omitted. A further garage addition was proposed in 2018.


By 2018 C20 had to submit to the local authority to counter the breadth of the planning application.  Along with Historic England, we lodged strong objections and the planning officer recommended the application be refused.


Although planning permission was granted it was moderated and subject to conditions. The applicant gave assurances that the extension was reversible and personal consent was given subject to the condition that the extension be removed when the applicant ceases occupation of the house.

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