Back to the Brick Bulletin

75 Avenue Road, London

By George Spreckley
Avenue 7

Behold 73-75 Avenue Road, a magnificent Georgian work of art on one of London’s most prestigious streets. Its construction with meticulously handcrafted, wood fired clay bricks from H.G. Matthews assures a design life of more than 150 years, providing robust shelter against the elements, even amidst the intensifying effects of climate change. The handmade, wood-fired bricks are crafted with great skill by H.G. Matthews - a process that has been passed down through generations.

The project occupies a unique double site at 73-75 Avenue Road; during the second world war the number 73 incurred significant bomb damage, resulting in its subsequent demolition. Over time, this site was acquired by the previous owners of number 75 and a pool was built, bringing the total area of the site to an acre.

Avenue Road was built during the pandemic, which meant it took an arduous four years and eight months to complete. Demolishing the previous house alone consumed three long months, as a result of sizeable amounts of asbestos being found within the old house. This palatial estate spans over 35,000 square feet and boasts an astonishing 116 rooms across 5 floors, A double basement was constructed to include a pool, gym, sauna, steam room, salon, games room, library, offices, subterranean car garage and lift, water features, a 3-storey green wall, and many dressing rooms.

Construction required the coordination of about 120 skilled labourers every day for more than four years and involved a staggering 187 subcontracted companies, across many different trade disciplines, servicing the unique and bespoke requirements of the clients.

HG Matthews’ legacy is remarkable: they have been making bricks by hand for 100 years! Each brick is meticulously crafted to produce a unique sand crease on the surface that adds character to any building it becomes a part of. In fact, H.G. Matthews is the only company in the UK still producing wood-fired bricks today. Recently celebrating our centenary, our family-owned business has been the only brickmaking company to utilise  wood for centuries-old traditional brick firing techniques. Handcrafted with passionate care and expertise, our bricks are the gold standard of quality.

Renewable wood sources are used, instead of fossil fuels, to fire the kilns and the drying sheds are heated with biomass in an attempt to minimise the impact on the environment.

The properties sustainability is not a fleeting concept, but rather a lasting dedication to building for generations. Clay brick stands as a timeless testament to the power of natural construction materials, capable of facing any assaults from the elements, providing generations with robust and healthy living spaces. Additionally, the property utilises a ground source heat pump with ground loups drilled to a depth of 75m to further add to its sustainability.

Avenue Road’s finish not only meets but surpasses all expectations thanks to its exceptional quality materials and knowledgeable craftsmen who worked tirelessly throughout every stage of the build.

More bulletins

Subscribe to the Brick Bulletin

Keep up to date with the latest in clay brick architecture