Put your stamp on a slice of Lon­don’s in­dus­trial his­tory

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

dus­trial and com­mu­ni­ca­tions cen­tre. Last year, tak­ing ad­van­tage of its prime po­si­tion be­tween Far­ring­don and Clerken­well in cen­tral Lon­don, Royal Mail sold off a 6.25-hectare slice for re­de­vel­op­ment. It re­mains the big­gest ever land deal in cen­tral Lon­don, and the de­pot con­tin­ues to func­tion. The new owner, Tay­lor Wim­pey, is now build­ing Post­mark, a huge scheme with more than 680 homes.

“Post­mark not only has a won­der­ful in­dus­trial her­itage, it’s where two post­codes, WC1 And EC1, meet,” says Mary O’Brien, head of sales for Tay­lor Wim­pey Lon­don. “So, bridg­ing them feels like the last piece of a puz­zle is be­ing put in place.”

Apart­ments range from stu­dios to three-bed­room homes and, with 35 per cent of phase one al­ready sold, prices start at £900,000. In ad­di­tion to com­mer­cial and re­tail space, the de­vel­op­ment will have a res­i­dents’ gym, a cin­ema, a pri­vate din­ing room and a court­yard, plus ac­cess to sev­eral roof ter­races.

The lo­ca­tion couldn’t be bet­ter, within a mile ra­dius are Eus­ton, St Pan­cras and King’s Cross sta­tions, as well as Black­fri­ars and the City. Vi­brant Ex­mouth Mar­ket is just around the cor­ner, and it’s a short hop to Blooms­bury in one di­rec­tion and Far­ring­don in the other.

The east-Lon­don-meets-west theme has been taken up by the site’s in­te­rior de­sign team, Con­ran and Part­ners. Buy­ers can choose be­tween two in­te­rior decor pal­ettes, ex­plains Si­mon Kin­caid, di­rec­tor at the firm. Each one is in­spired by a dif­fer­ent aspect of Lon­don. “We didn’t want a clichéd look, but to re­flect how West End tra­di­tion meets the edgy, bo­hemian feel of east Lon­don,” he says. “Buy­ers can choose a pol­ished, luxe ef­fect or one that’s more matt and in­dus­trial.”

The West pal­ette is op­u­lent, with its wooden floors, dark-grey walls and deep-blue kitchen units. While feel­ing warm and cosy, it also has the at­mos­phere of a high-end ho­tel. Ac­ces­sories such as kitchen taps and cab­i­net door han­dles are in pol­ished chrome. The bath­rooms, with grey tiles and chrome fix­tures, are sleek but warmed by the dark tim­ber van­ity units. Con­ran and Part­ners’ de­sign for the West apart­ments also in­cludes a mid­night-blue vel­vet head­board in the mas­ter bed­room, which adds to the lux­u­ri­ous feel but doesn’t come as stan­dard. “The West pal­ette has richer colours and a so­phis­ti­cated look,” says Kin­caid.

For those who want a younger, edgier vibe, the East pal­ette has your name on it. It’s a brighter, lighter look with white kitchen units, matt work­tops and pale wood floor­ing. Bath­rooms have the same in­dus­trial-look tiles as the West pal­ette in white, and fit­tings, such as taps and shower heads, are in sleek matt black. “It’s a bit more con­tem­po­rary,” says Kin­caid. “Light, in­dus­trial, cleaner.”

Con­ran and Part­ners also aimed to in­cor­po­rate the his­tory of the orig­i­nal Royal Mail ar­chi­tec­ture into the look. The edges of the kitchen and bath­room cab­i­nets in all apart­ments have a stepped fea­ture that mim­ics the ex­te­rior edges of the art deco-style de­pot build­ing across the road. Wine racks and bath­room cab­i­nets have been cre­ated to a be­spoke de­sign in warm, dark wood to re­mind users of post of­fice pi­geon holes, where mail would be sorted and stored.

The lo­cally in­spired ethos also runs through the com­mu­nal ar­eas, with the cin­ema mim­ick­ing the sump­tu­ous look of a West End the­atre. By con­trast, the gym has a grit­tier, ur­ban edge, which in­cludes rub­ber floor­ing and pol­ished­plas­ter wall fin­ishes. Un­like many new­builds in Lon­don, Post­mark will have a brick fa­cade to blend in with the sur­round­ing build­ings.

“We don’t de­sign in a bub­ble,” says Kin­caid. “It’s about how the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture talk to each other, the rich lo­cal his­tory, the com­mu­nity and its res­i­dents, it all pro­vides in­spi­ra­tion.”

Royal Mail isn’t pulling out of Mount Pleas­ant al­to­gether: the orig­i­nal, his­toric sort­ing of­fice will con­tinue to op­er­ate across the road, al­though in­side Post­mark there’s no sense of dis­rup­tion. “We have a good re­la­tion­ship with Royal Mail,” says O’Brien, “and I think peo­ple have an af­fec­tion for the postal ser­vice. It’s an in­sti­tu­tion.

“With Post­mark, we’ll be cre­at­ing a new neigh­bour­hood. It’s a chance for us to put our stamp on the land­scape of cen­tral Lon­don.”

Right, an apart­ment kit­ted out in the West de­sign pal­ette, which starts from £900,000; in­side the Mount Pleas­ant sort­ing of­fice, be­low and left

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