My Spitfire Factory Bachelor Pad: Two-Bedroom London Flat In Former Fighter Jet Makers On Sale For 925,00
Sat 25 Jan 2014
My Spitfire factory bachelor pad: Two-bedroom London flat in former fighter jet factory on sale for 925,000. It is a fourth-floor flat, located in a World War II factory that made Spitfires.
The two-bedroom apartment is on the market for 925,000. Designed by MI6 building architect Sir Terry Farrell It's an important moment in any courtship when a woman first claps eyes on her boyfriends bachelor pad. Will it be clean and tidy? Will it be decorated with any semblance of taste?
Daisy Uribe-Mosquera neednt have worried when she set foot inside her future husband Philips flat for the first time. With its stylish vaulted ceilings and vast kitchen/living room, Daisy, 34, a marketing executive at auctioneers Sothebys, couldnt have failed to be impressed.
Banker Philip, 30, might also have pointed out that the flat played a role in the Second World War. It is on the fourth floor of a former factory called the Old Aeroworks, in St Johns Wood, North London, that used to make parts for Spitfire fighters and Lancaster bombers.
Whats more, the building was converted into a residential block by architect Sir Terry Farrell who designed Londons MI6 building on the Thames at Vauxhall Cross. He was so pleased with the Old Aeroworks that he now lives in another of the apartments.
The couple are reluctantly selling Philips ultimate bachelor pad for 925,000 as they want a family-orientated home. The Old Aeroworks was built in the 1920s and was one of the first all-concrete buildings in Britain. It was originally owned by Bovis Homes and used to construct whole houses via timber transported along the nearby Grand Union Canal.
When the Blitz began in 1940, the Government requisitioned the building to house the Palmer Tyre Companys aeroworks, which was producing parts for RAF warplanes in the heavily targeted London Docks. Since the surroundings were residential rather than industrial, it was less likely to be a priority target for German bombers.
Braking systems, tyres, wheels and gun turrets were made in the factory but, owing to the secrecy of the operation, the workers were never told what they were going to be used for.
Anyone passing the building today would be left in no doubt about what was once going on inside this Art Deco block. There are seven Spitfire models on the roof and a plaque to commemorate the Palmer Tyre Companys production of the legendary fighter.
Sir Terry Farrell is a particular fan of the Spitfire, saying it inspired him as a design icon. The Spitfire continually evolved throughout the war, he has said.
By 1945 it was 30 to 40 per cent faster than at the beginning. That strikes a chord with my approach to architecture evolving and innovating, but remaining true to the original spirit.
Nothing could demonstrate this more than the Old Aeroworks itself and Daisy and Philips two-bedroom flat.
The design exploits the buildings generous dimensions the rooms are airy and spacious and feature a uniform style of clean lines and white finishes. The couple agree that Daisy merely softened a few edges when she moved in.
As a space to live in, the flat couldnt work better there are two evenly sized bedrooms and a great area for lounging or eating in, says Philip. The spare rooms great for extra rent if you need it, or for a child or just somewhere for your other half to keep her clothes.
The couple will particularly miss the area, which is not renowned for family-size houses but is cosmopolitan its a stones throw from the Edgware Road with its Arabic restaurants. Its also very convenient for the centre of London, and Philip and Daisy say they love having the canal and Regents Park so close.
Rose Holden, sales manager at Marsh & Parsons Little Venice branch, said: This apartment represents industrial chic at its very best.
It is just so characterful and would be an ideal space for an individual who likes something that is very much out of the ordinary.
The space has so much recent history that it must be unique among Londons housing stock, and the fact that it is home to one of Londons leading contemporary architects adds huge interest.