Aztec-inspired motifs. Since 1990, the ground floor has been a Tesco supermarket, but the main section of the building, with a new roof addition, is being converted into 66 flats priced from £379,000. English Heritage is supervising restoration of original features such as Crittall windows and the entrance foyer’s wrought-iron banisters and Travertine floors. Call IDM Properties on 020 7613 6561.
The post-industrial railway lands behind King’s Cross station seemed an unpromising location for prestige homes encased in a spider’s web of cast iron. But The Gasholders London, new flats within the restored framework of three listed gasholders — known col- lectively as the “Siamese Triplet” because their decorative frames and riveted lattice girders are connected by a common “spine” — are an architectural tour de force. New cylindrical blocks contain 145 wedge-shaped flats with curved walls, full-height glazing and balconies that feel part of the elaborate framework. Internally, the flats reveal a “luxe industrial” character typified by concrete and brass, timber and poured resin floors.
Circular walkways overlook a vast open-air internal courtyard. One of the gasholders has a communal roof garden designed by Dan Pearson, while the roofs of the other two blocks form private terraces for duplex penthouses. Prices from £810,000. Call Savills on 020 7409 8756.
Former coal yards alongside the gasholders now offer smart retail space and restaurants, while a restored granary is the stunning new home of Central Saint Martins art school.
OPENING UP THE RIVERSIDE
National Grid has teamed up with developer St William to build 14,000 homes at derelict gasworks inside the M25 over the next 15 years. Projects in Fulham, Hornsey, Bethnal Green and Southall are under way.
Lots Road Power Station, built in 1904 to supply electricity to the Tube, is being transformed into a grand new address — Chelsea Waterside. Before closing 15 years ago, the eight-acre compound blocked access to the Thames but is now opening up with 706 homes, a riverside promenade, gardens and pedestrian bridges across tidal Chelsea Creek.
The power station itself, with its vast arched windows and tall twin chimneys, will yield 193 flats and a covered “high street” with restaurants, cafés and shops. In total there will be 10 new buildings. Amenities for residents will include a spa and gym, underground parking and 24-hour concierge. Prices from £1.4 million. Call 020 3826 0673.
A BALANCING ACT
Silvertown, close to London City Airport in east London, was once a booming industrial district but became a wasteland after closure of the old docks in the Seventies. Today, a £3.5 billion plan for 62 acres centres around restoration of Millennium Mills, a magnificent Art Deco structure once home to sugar refiners Tate & Lyle.
More than 500 tons of dangerous asbestos have been removed from the former flour mill, which will become a centre for 150 design and technology “brands” alongside 50 new buildings, parks, schools and community facilities. The first phase of 3,000 new homes will be available later this year.
Fish Island in Hackney Wick was once part of a thriving industrial suburb where in 1865 the Gas Light and Coke Company established a small factory town, now a conservation area. By the Seventies, the 50-acre site was derelict, but kept alive by a colony of artists renting cheap studio space. Now the underutilised land and buildings are a conservation area, part of a masterplan to create a new district with 5,000 homes, live-work dwellings, workshops and small business premises.
Carpenters Wharf, once a furniture factory, is one of several new canalside schemes. Architects Studio Egret West designed an exposed frame and timberclad warehouse-style building with a central atrium and a residents’ roof garden. Two-bedroom flats cost from £745,000. Call 020 7205 2199.
Developers Peabody and Hill are building Fish Island Village, with 580 canalside homes priced from £432,500. Call 020 3906 1950. The Foundry, another new-build scheme, has 121 apartments priced from £399,950. Call Weston Homes on 020 8985 5597.
Close to the Olympic Park meadows, this fledgling neighbourhood is nevertheless a gritty urban landscape. And while it is smartening up, there are fears its unique character and arty community could be lost. We must protect both our heritage and our future.
From £1.4 million: flats at Chelsea Waterside, a new address carved from the old Lots Road Power Station site
From £810,000: studios, flats and penthouses at The Gasholders London in King’s Cross. Through Savills