Tell us a bit about your business?
We are an award winning practice specialising in the high quality design of residential and commercial properties. Our ten strong team operates from the heart of Belsize Village. Since opening the practice in 2008 we have completed over 100 projects and delivered a total contract value of over 20 million pounds.We work across a range of sectors and our particular expertise is working with existing buildings, including those with historic value. We treat each project as a new challenge and deliver, with passion, innovative design solutions that are at the cutting edge of modern day architectural practice. XUL is an anagram of Lux, which means “light” in Latin. We are continuously researching different ways of introducing natural light to architecture.
What do you love most about Hampstead?
Hampstead is a wonderful place, full of history and anecdotes. The High Street, as it is such a well-connected road, is expectedly vibrant and busy. But there are other little pockets of activity away from the High Street and those are the ones we enjoy exploring most. What is really special is that it feels like a village. We love walking out of the office and bumping into so many people we know, from other local businesses and neighbours. There is a very strong sense of community.
What were your motivations for starting the business?
Sebastian Sandler opened the practice in 2008 and moved to Belsize Lane in 2009. We moved to the heart of the village in 2014 as we saw it as a great opportunity to better engage with the community. Having a shop front has had an incredibly positive impact on the practice, as it has now a more established presence in the area where most of our clients are. We get more exposure and recognition and really enjoy having people popping in for a consultation.
What are your biggest challenges as an independent Retail shop?
High rent, business rates and parking.
Besides yourselves, what’s your favourite independent Hampstead business?
So many wonderful businesses in Hampstead it would be difficult to choose one. We spend a lot of time at Roni’s and Belsize Kitchen.
What could local people be doing more of to help Hampstead traders?
Support small independent shops and where possible try to shop locally.
33 Belsize Lane
London NW3 5AS