There’s something to be said for going back to school – especially when it’s as architecturally grand as this one in east London.
This imposing Victorian establishment in the heart of London Fields was converted into a series of trendy loft apartments nearly 20 years ago called East Eight and they rarely go on sale.
This one was bought by its current owner 12 years ago and it has been completely refurbished from top to bottom over the last decade until it matches the same high specification of the luxe penthouses currently proliferating at an alarming rate down the road in Shoreditch.
The living/dining area
Set in a gated community in Lansdowne Drive, visitors enter via a brick archway that was once the “Girls” entrance into the school. Situated at the top of the building, this three-level apartment was the science classroom, if local taxi drivers are to be believed.
The current owner has certainly experimented with the decor, commissioning a feature ‘floating’ glass staircase that dominates the open plan kitchen/dining space on the entry level.
It was created specially by Flight Design of nearby Hackney Wick and leads up to a mezzanine level that could be used as an atmospheric study or a second reception space, where you can be inspired by the triple aspect views.
To the east, Canary Wharf towers in the distance, to the west, quintessential redbrick London rooftops stretch away as far as the eye can see, and in the middle, the City’s skyscrapers glint in the winter sunlight.
Floating feature staircase
“These lofts hold up well in an uncertain market because the buyer isn’t bargain-hunting, they’re looking for something to fall in love with,” says Ben Martin, from selling agent Urban Spaces.
The views and the impression of space certainly aren’t shared by the residents in the nearby Victorian terraces, nor the ceiling heights. The entire building recently underwent a total roof refurbishment and the ceilings now scale 4.8m, a good foot and a half taller than the average height in a terraced house.
Unlike the penthouses of Shoreditch, architectural quirks add character throughout the home, from the exposed brick walls to the triangular arches that crown so many of the door frames.
Comprising over 1,700sqft, modern luxuries include heated hardwood flooring throughout, communal gardens in which to enjoy a shared barbecue with neighbours in the summer, bike storage and off-street parking, all thrown into the asking price.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also being sold chain free and with a share of the freehold. Ultimately, this is a loft-style apartment – so sought after in this part of the city – for buyers who don’t want to sacrifice taste and character for space and panoramic views. You really can have both.
On sale with Urban Spaces for £1.25m. Call 020 7251 4000 or email [email protected]