Belgravia Townhouse

Efficiency and Elegance Fit Together in High-End London Townhouse

Belgravia, the West London district southwest of Buckingham Palace, is known as one of the wealthiest residential areas in the world. Much of Belgravia’s property was once part of the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate and the district takes its name from one of the Duke’s subsidiary titles, Viscount Belgrave. Befitting its reputation as the home of the very best in British society, former residents include Lord Tennyson, Lord Mountbatten, author Ian Fleming and Beatles manager, Brian Epstein.

Among Belgravia’s white terraced Victorian homes sits the small enclave of Elizabeth Street. Although situated in vibrant central London, the neighborhood still maintains a quiet village ambience, and it was here that a full-scale renovation was recently undertaken to transform a five-story townhouse into a new residence. The owners tasked Rod Pyke of Blue Interiors with finding a modern central heating and cooling solution that would not detract from the elegance of the new interior and architectural design.


An online search using the words “discreet air conditioning” led Mr. Pyke to the Unico System and its local distributors, Quantum Group. Because this was Mr. Pyke and installing contractor Richline Mechanical Ltd.’s first experience with the Unico System, local Unico rep Quantum Group helped to design and model the entire system in 3D to ensure a perfect fit for the townhouse’s limited cavities and spaces devoted to mechanical equipment.

Richline Mechanical installed two 14kW Unico Systems within the loft attic, and main trunk lines within the ceilings of each of the four floors. Ceilings were lowered ever so slightly to accommodate the low profile ductwork. A conventional sized ducted system would have required lowering the ceiling by a noticeable amount.

Unico System flexible supply ducts terminate in small round openings in the ceilings. Plasterers fashioned sleek, 2-inch inner diameter holes as the pathway for conditioned air to the various rooms. This choice would have been inconceivable with a traditional heating and cooling system.


“To see a design on paper is one thing,” states Mr. Pyke, “to actually fit it in and not see it, is another. The supply outlets fit seamlessly into the space and the response of the system is extremely quick and impressive.”

The owners were delighted that their original design plans remained intact and they are able to enjoy superior indoor comfort without having to compromise the design aesthetic that attracted them to this townhouse in the first place.


  • Even, draft-free temperatures
  • Quiet operation
  • Zone control options
  • Discreet supply outlets
  • Flexible design and installation


Richline Mechanical Ltd. (Redhill, Surrey)

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