Once the studio or pied-à-terre was a home that bridged the gap between working in the city during the week and heading to a country home at the weekend, but now these perfectly formed apartments offer a new urban way of living all the year round…
Words: Fiona Brandhorst
Many of prime London’s most stunning new developments include studios, or ‘suites’ as they are often called, and are among the first to sell with residents benefiting from all the upmarket trappings for a fraction of the cost of the most expensive apartments available, plus a lower stamp duty bill.
Perfectly poised for the city, Berkeley Homes’ flagship developments Goodman’s Fields and 250 City Road have seen the studio flats, starting at £708,000, selling well, demonstrating a real popularity for intelligently designed, compact apartments.
Louis Aldred, Head of Sales at Berkeley Homes (North East London), says: ‘Single room studios have been replaced with carefully configured “Manhattan” style suites that offer clearly defined zones with an obvious space to position a bed away from a designated living area, and a compact but practical kitchen with generous storage.’
Smart technology also plays a role and innovations such as inbuilt speakers ensure a sleek finish. Many purchasers also assess the desirability of a property based on what the broader development will deliver.
‘At Goodman’s Fields, we offer a business lounge for those who want to work from home, a private screening room that residents can rent to entertain family and friends, an on-site hotel for overnight guests, and a luxury health club with an indoor pool and spa for those who want to exercise or enjoy wellness facilities on their doorstep,’ adds Aldred. There is also storage in the building for up to 1,500 bikes to avoid unnecessary clutter indoors.
It’s easy to see why this new breed of apartment is becoming hot property. Such on-site facilities have become standard across high-end developments and provide residents with the opportunity to live beyond the perimeter of their apartment, regardless of its size.
A fifth floor, 480 sq ft suite in Redrow’s Blake Tower located in the Grade II listed Barbican estate is priced at £695,000, while larger apartments soar to £1.8m
A fifth floor, 480 sq ft suite in Redrow’s Blake Tower located in the Grade II listed Barbican estate is priced at £695,000, while larger apartments soar to £1.8m. Named after the poet William Blake, the tower was a former YMCA hostel and has been sensitively restored providing breathtaking views of London’s iconic skyline. Just five minutes’ walk from the new Crossrail station at Farringdon, Blake Tower is tipped as a good long-term investment. Knight Frank reported price growth of 6.3% in the City to May this year compared to 1.9% in Mayfair.
Discreetly hidden behind Chelsea stucco fronted villas, the Bolton Studios are among the capital’s most prestigious addresses. Former artists’ studios converted in the late 19th century, they have now been carefully renovated into double height, galleried homes. Amenities include a seven-day-a-week concierge service, parking and access to the secluded residents-only Boltons communal gardens. The studios are priced from £1.5m through Strutt & Parker and Savills, and are moments from the cafés and restaurants of the Fulham Road.
These bijou homes are proving popular with young professionals and couples, as well as London students whose parents look to buy them a home while they are studying, which can be let when they leave university or used as a retirement city retreat.
‘Studios offer a cash efficient way to invest in the London market without having to spend too much initial capital in comparison to larger properties,’ comments Simon Tollit, Sales Director of UK Sotheby’s International Realty. ‘They tend to have a lower service charge than larger units resulting in smaller outgoings on a monthly and quarterly basis.’
Sotheby’s is selling a range of studios in The Printworks, a collection of brand new apartments designed for exclusive artisan warehouse living, created within a former printing factory with a magnificent restored façade between Stockwell and Oval tubes. Prices start from £338,000.
Studio buyers at Oakmayne’s Two Fifty One London will be at the heart of Southwark’s regeneration plan and will benefit from resident amenities including a ‘Get Connected Lounge’ for homeworkers
Meanwhile studio buyers at Oakmayne’s Two Fifty One London will be at the heart of Southwark’s regeneration plan and will benefit from resident amenities including a ‘Get Connected Lounge’ for homeworkers, gym, private cinema, club room and catering kitchen, and dining room bookable through a phone or tablet application. Prices have yet to be set for this summer’s second phase launch.
A suite in Allen House, the final collection of new homes at Heritage Walk by St James near Kew Bridge, known for its riverside walks and industrial Steam Museum, costs £425,000. The restaurants, cafés and markets of Kew Village are nearby. A 24-hour concierge, gated parking and private residents’ gym are the contemporary must-haves. Sliding doors divide the living area from the bedroom and there is access to a private balcony or roof terrace.
And who wouldn’t want to live in the ultimate pied-a-terre a stone’s throw from Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall at Queen’s Gate, on the market with Chestertons for £1.1m. The elegantly refurbished studio apartment located on the first floor of a classic mid-terraced house has high ceilings, a hand-made kitchen and heaps of original features. The separate sleeping platform has plenty of storage and the shower room is on the second floor.