Mid-cen­tury is so mod­ern

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - New Homes -

AQUICK hop to the sta­tion and a man­age­able school run have al­ways been pri­or­i­ties for fam­i­lies search­ing for a big­ger and bet­ter-value house in the com­muter belt out­side Lon­don.

To­day’s buy­ers are in­creas­ingly de­sign con­scious, too, and want a home with a mod­ern in­te­rior and flex­i­ble lay­out that looks good and feels glam­orous.

Gabriel Square, in the cathe­dral city of St Al­bans, ticks all of these boxes. This scheme of 52 town­houses and 28 apart­ments, right and far right top and bot­tom, set around a large, smartly land­scaped square is a re­fresh­ing break from the usual com­muter land ar­chi­tec­tural styles.

In­spired by mid-cen­tury mod­ern de­sign prin­ci­ples, the pro­ject is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive for be­ing the de­but de­vel­op­ment of Meyer Homes, which was formed in 2015 with the ac­qui­si­tion of a bas­ket of sites from the Tesco su­per­mar­ket chain.

Meyer em­braced the con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­tural style of the orig­i­nal plan­ning con­sent but brought in Con­ran and Part­ners to re­vamp what were con­ven­tional in­te­rior floor plans with a wider cen­tral stair­well, a dou­ble-height void and pocket doors that slide back into walls.

These lime­stone-clad, four-storey homes are a spa­cious 2,000sq ft, with white walls and light oak tim­ber floors through­out.

They in­cor­po­rate a gar­den and bal­conies, an in­ter­nal court­yard and ex­ter­nal spi­ral stair­case plus a se­cluded roof ter­race ac­cessed via a glass box that forms the top of a cen­tral light well. Some have an in­te­gral garage while oth­ers have a lower-floor en­trance to the un­der­ground car park. St Al­bans to St Pan­cras is a 20-minute com­mute, mak­ing Gabriel Square es­pe­cially

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