The rise of London's high-rise sky gardens
Thu 05 Jun 2014
The next few years will see more than 200 tower blocks springing up all around the capital, according to commercial real estate company CBRE, and many of them will come complete with terrific terraces and gardens in the sky. At 41 storeys, South Bank Tower will soon have one of Londons largest and highest roof gardens, spanning 10,000 square feet.
The redevelopment of the old IPC Media headquarters in SE1 is being transformed into 191 luxury apartments and its terrace will have panoramic views of the city, as well as boasting its own residents lounge bar and event space. Estate agent Savills is selling one-bed apartments at South Bank Tower from 885,000 and the developments coordinator, George Kyriacou, says its sizeable terrace makes the scheme unique.
The mixed-use building contains offices with their own terrace at a lower level while the apartments are set on floors 11 to 41, guaranteeing a peaceful retreat high above the citys constantly beating heart. Its difficult to assess how much the roof terrace influences buyers but its a lifestyle thing, says Kyriacou. Even if you buy a small one-bed apartments, you can book the private lounge and dining table which seats 12.Estate agents agree that outdoor space, especially on the waterfront, adds value. Marsh & Parsons estimate that a great garden or outdoor space will typically add 20 per cent to a propertys value, rising to 40 per cent if the space is sunny and south-facing.
Further east, Hackneys London Fields may be the only neighbourhood in London boasting a 50m long heated outdoor pool but the boroughs 1930-built lido will soon have a neighbour set on the roof of Union Developments Warehaus. Its 30 one and two-bedroom apartments all feature art deco-inspired interiors and underfloor heating but its the developments glass-bottomed rooftop pool that will surely wow prospective buyers.Doubling as the atriums ceiling, the pools roof terrace has a wild flower garden, creating a peaceful, sky-high oasis. The pool has a retractable decked cover that you can walk on and there are amazing views from up there, says Union Developments Peter Ciezak.
Three-bedroom apartments start at 825,000, with prices for one- and two-bed apartments soon to be released. Buyers who dont have a head for heights may instead choose the ground-level courtyard terrace at new development 55VS on Victoria Street in SW1. However, thrill-seekers will surely gravitate to its eigth-floor sky garden, says Laura Marino of developers Alchemi Group, adding that outdoor space is important to city dwellers: The lobbys granite flooring flows into the courtyard, says Marino, where pocket seating areas and planted garden areas allow for social gathering and quiet privacy. Apartments start at 1.1 million, which also buys you rooftop views of Battersea Power Station and Southwark Cathedral.
On the banks of the Regents canal in EC1, the 31-storey Canaletto lets buyers get closer to the stars at its 24th-storey residents club with terrace. Other facilities include a pool, gym and spa plus a restaurant that will also be open to the public. Expected to complete next year, 190 apartments, including studios, three-bed apartments and a penthouse start at 840,000. And for buyers with sky-high budgets, 12 million and 18 million are the price tags for two penthouses at the Heron, City of London, which both have indoor outdoor rooms with retractable roof and access to a communal roof terrace.