From Victorian warehouses and factories, to former churches and even an iconic disused power station, London is home to a plethora of properties ripe for conversion, as well as those already converted.
The journey from life as an industrial building to becoming a warm and welcoming home is often not straightforward. Six London estate agents talk us through what makes these eclectic properties attractive to buyers, and what developers and potential homeowners alike need to take into consideration before taking the plunge.
“London is a city very much in touch with its history, and a large proportion of that history is read through its buildings” says James Klonaris from The Modern House. “Many of our clients think of themselves as custodians of historic buildings rather than owners, and I would argue that we experience a greater connectivity to our surroundings when we live harmoniously with the past. Spatially and materially, lots of historic buildings offer a scale, grandeur and means of construction that would no longer be financially viable today.”
Simon Murphy, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company agrees: “Historic conversions, like Battersea Power Station, offer so much more than simply a place to live – they offer a chance to buy a slice of British history.” Joseph Bate, sales manager at Johns&Co told us “Buyers are drawn to properties which have a unique or interesting story behind them. Historic properties that have been sensitively restored or transformed often have a number of unusual characteristics or quirky features and these help them stand out from the crowd and attract buyers who are looking for something different.”
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Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station is a Grade II listed building on the banks of the River Thames. It is one of the largest brick buildings in the world and is at the centre of one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. Simon Murphy, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company told us, “Battersea Power Station is one of London’s most loved landmarks. Through sensitively restoring it, our specialist architects have been able to retain much of the original fabric and features of the building, including the brick and steelwork, some of which is on show in the apartments, giving residents a subtle reminder of the building’s history. Working with specialist restoration architects Purcell, we have been able to re-build each of the four chimneys, following the methods used to create the originals. We have also created more than two million bricks, sourcing them from the local British brickmakers who created the originals. We are looking forward to opening the doors to our residents this spring.”
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