Once home to Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor, this gargantuan four-bedroom apartment in the resplendent Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, just off Trinity Road in Wandsworth, has just hit the market…
Words: Madeleine Howell
You may well have attended the legendary Wandsworth Common Beer Festival, which takes place at Le Gothique amidst the pretty alfresco squares of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. Less well known is the fact that the Grade II-listed Gothic Revival building is home to some stunning residential apartments.
Just off Trinity Road in Wandsworth, the impressive, towering building is a former orphanage. These days, it’s billed as a community of flats, studios and workshops, and is home to the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). The place feels like a modern day castle, and exudes a real sense of history, creativity and community.
According to Susan Cuff, who lives here with her partner Rob Burnett and their teenage children, it’s great for hosting parties as well as being a sun-trap for barbecues. ‘Every time I come home I get a thrill looking up at the building,’ she says.
The spider-web layout has meant that as their children have got older, they’ve had their own space to entertain and to revise for their exams – as well as to come together for Rugby World Cup parties, 18th and 21st birthdays. That’s not to mention proximity to the increasingly buzzy wine bars and restaurants of St John’s Hill and Battersea Rise.
As well as using the space for their lively parties, the family have made the most of their extraordinary Scottish Baronial meets French Châteauesque surroundings to display a collection of artworks, sculpture and furniture.
‘It’s a very eclectic mix,’ Cuff explains. Next to the pool table is a collage of Vogue covers featuring iconic supermodels of years past, and in the fireplace, the couple have retained features such as the tarot card design tiles leftover from previous owners – which include none other than Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor.
‘Andy Taylor was the first owner when the then derelict building was converted into residential space in the early Eighties,’ Burnett tells me. ‘Unique is an overused word, but because of the architecture and the history, it truly is unique.’
As the family prepare to move on to a new chapter, they will miss the ‘glorious’ sound of storms through the original windows. ‘We call it CB towers, short for Cuff Burnett Towers,’ she laughs. Future guardians will be very lucky indeed to call this well-loved space home.
The apartment is for sale at £1,899,950. For more details see foxtons.co.uk or call 020 7801 1111