Looking for an unusual London property to call home? The UK capital is among the world’s hottest property markets thanks partly to its varied housing stock. Look beyond the typical Victorian terraces and high-rise apartment blocks being built in the city, and you’ll discover a wealth of architectural gems, from converted warehouses and breweries to revived churches, schools and courthouses.
We’ve unearthed 11 of the most unusual London homes for sale right now.
An Arts and Crafts live/work space in Notting Hill
£8.95m via Knight Frank
This barrel-vaulted Arts and Crafts dwelling by architect Edward Robert Robson in Westbourne Grove started life as a seminary for nearby St Paul’s Presbyterian Church. During the 20th century it was converted into a Rudolf Steiner and later an Islamic school, and today the unusual London home – for sale via Knight Frank – is an artist’s live/work space. Architect Tchaik Chassay oversaw its adaptive reuse in the 1990s, maintaining its double-height volumes and original parquet flooring.
Converted brewery in Clerkenwell
£4m via Sotheby’s International Realty
Sitting on the site of the 19th-century Cannon Brewery in Clerkenwell, this contemporary four-bedroom home has been fashioned from the bones of the brewery yard’s office building. Thanks to its industrial origins, this unique London property has lofty ceilings as well as carved barley and hop decorations above the doorway – and a coloured mosaic on the floor inside. Brick fireplaces and wooden floors complete the look.
Converted Victorian diary in Kensington
£2.75m via Domus Nova
Architect Theo Otten designed this gallery-like home in north Kensington. Originally part of a Victorian dairy, the London property has been turned into a minimalist two-bedroom home with white walls, cool concrete floors and a triple-height studio space that’s capped by a glass-canopied roof.
Modern homes by Peter Salter in Holland Park
4 interlocking buildings
£22m (direct enquiries)
British architect Peter Salter has taken things to extremes with this series of four unusual London homes, which offer a radical take on close living. The interlocking modern properties – for sale as one offering – wrap around a timber-lined internal courtyard and come with yurt-like living rooms. Seven years in the making, Walmer Yard scooped the 2017 RIBA London Award and is Salter’s first executed project in the UK.
Converted courthouse in west Kensington
£2.45m via Domus Nova
Gavels and wigs might be gone from inside this converted 1908 courthouse apartment, but it retains much of its judicial character thanks to its vaulted 35-ft ceilings and the original jury box, which has been integrated into its contemporary layout.
The west Kensington pad is owned by the president of a fashion brand, and is spread over three levels, with interiors designed by Ebba Thott of Sigmar. You might be guilty of coveting the furnishings too: courtroom benches have been replaced with chairs by Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand and Finn Juhl. The apartment’s unique acoustics are a bonus for music lovers.
Ashley Isham’s converted warehouse in Camden
£3.5m via The Modern House
This glass-topped London warehouse conversion is the handiwork of fashion designer Ashley Isham, who has turned it into a gallery for his collection of contemporary art. The 4,556 sq ft tram depot had already been turned into a home when the designer – best known for dressing Lady Gaga and Florence Welch – bought it in 2012, but it needed updating: ‘It was very dark before – not a happy space at all,’ says Isham.
Industrial touches inside Tramshed House come from trussed support beams, and a new steel staircase which criss-crosses the living room wall and leads up to the Camden property’s four levels. The property also has outdoor terrace space – a bonus in this enclave of the city.
Futuristic home by Richard Paxton in Primrose Hill
POA via John D Wood
Architects Richard Paxton and Heidi Locher let their imagination run riot inside this unusual London home, for sale via John D Wood. The couple designed Paxton House as their own abode, and completed it in 2006 shortly before Paxton’s death.
It features a glass-sided swimming pool that runs the length of the triple-height reception room, as well as a retractable 40ft-glass ceiling. The Primrose Hill property tackles multi-generational living as well: two of the five bedrooms were conceived as ‘mini apartments’.
Kensington apartment by William Morris
£3.45m via Domus Nova
Local lore attributes the elaborate stained glass windows and soaring barrelled ceiling in the living room of this Arts & Crafts abode to William Morris. The one-bedroom Queen’s Gate apartment was owned by the Vicomtesse Petersham, and later crime-writer Lynda La Plante – it also makes a cameo in Paul McCartney’s 1984 film, Give my regards to Broad Street.
Gasholder apartments in King’s Cross
From studio apartments to penthouse duplexes
£810,000 – £3,525,000 via Knight Frank
Unusual is an understatement for this residential development in King’s Cross, which fills the cast iron frames of three conjoined gasholders dubbed the Siamese Triplets. Architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre designed the cylindrical insertions, while Jonathan Tuckey has conceived the interiors for the 145 apartments housed within them – expected to be completed this autumn. ‘There’s so much dynamism to the architecture,’ says Tuckey. ‘We wanted to celebrate the gasholders’ history and geometry while giving owners a sense of softness and domesticity.’
Gasholder dwellers will have access to a gym, spa and cinema, as well as the communal rooftop garden atop one of the buildings, planted by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Dan Pearson.
School conversion in Stoke Newington
£800,000 – £1,250,000 via Next Move
Nine unusual London homes – for sale via Next Move – fill the antique brick shell of this 1837 school, which served as a social hall and snooker house after the World War II. Developer Cubitt Greystock tasked architects Nissen Richards with converting Grange Hall. They have preserved its historic character and made the most of its high ceilings. Among the apartments, the grandest home for sale is The Grange, which spans the entire front of the original school building.
Converted loft in Hoxton
£1.89m via The Modern House
East London loft conversions are coveted properties and this two-bedroom apartment comes with all the requisite hallmarks: exposed brickwork, ceiling joists and original wooden floorboards. The 1,400 sq ft London loft apartment is spread over two floors of a former timber warehouse. Its master bedroom opens onto a huge terrace, with views towards the City. Other perks include gallery-standard Panavision lighting in the living room, and a Juliet balcony.
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