61 Brunswick Street West

I saw the back of 61 Brunswick Street West before its front and was instantly curious.

The story starts at the home of my late dear friend, Mike Robins, at 33a Brunswick Square, a house with its own concealed entrance and no frontage. Its front door is tucked away within the entranceway of 33 Brunswick Square, which offers a great clue as to its origins. I can but assume that No. 33a was once part of No. 33 in what must be the largest Regency house ever built in what is now Hove.

33a Brunswick may well have no façade but it does have an incredibly imposing rear elevation that is characterised by a grand curved bay – that may be viewed in luxury from a hidden and unexpected garden behind. Backing onto the opposite side of this secret oasis are three striking modern townhouses.

It is sadly the case that we are blessed with little in the way of quality contemporary architecture locally. It is always a pleasure, therefore, to be able to add another development to the short list of buildings.

61-65 Brunswick Street West were completed in 2007 and designed by Alan Phillips. With four storeys and four bedrooms apiece, the three houses are large but, despite their height and advanced design, are entirely respectful towards their elderly neighbours. One mark of respect is a curved protruding window in the form of a semi-circular bay; a modern interpretation of the distinctive Regency bow. An exposed frame is a shared feature on both the front and rear of the buildings, as is an abundance of glass.

Within, no space at all is wasted. The ground and first floors contain the living areas; the second and third floors contain the bedrooms. Inside No. 61, knowing that the third floor was the top floor, I was a little curious as to why the staircase did not stop there. This was easily explained by a little lever that is pulled to open a great hatch onto the massive roof terrace. No space is wasted outside either.

The brief list of decent modern buildings locally includes the Jubilee Library, Earthship Brighton and 1a Whichelo Place, along with 15 Lloyd Close and a few other houses in Hove Park. With a dearth of such buildings, it is rare for one to come up for sale. Nash Watson is marketing 61 Brunswick Street West now.