From drab office to stylish apartment

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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This unusual project was full of complexities and challenges, which is what makes it particularly interesting for us to visit today. Formally used to sell apartments in the Barbican Estate, this central London office has been transformed into a remarkable home with spectacular luxury interiors. The estate neighbours some noteworthy institutions, including the Museum of London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. With a location such as this, it would have been a great shame had the estate office, already vacant for 10 years, continued to remain neglected. The potential of this Heritage Grade II Listed Building didn't go unnoticed by Mackay & Partners LLP, who took on the challenge of breathing new life into this sorry commercial property, and turning it into a desirable city pad for the lucky new occupants. 

An unassuming exterior

It couldn't be more obvious that this building was the Estate Office—the writing is literally on the walls. As you might expect from an office exterior, it is unassuming, and even slightly dull. However, unusual spatial volumes and architectural elements, as well as raw materials mean it has lots of potential to be an exciting modern home. Though at first glance you can't tell, there are some wonderful surprises in store once you take a step inside. 

The modern bathroom

Negotiations to carry out work on this property were long and arduous: permission was required for a change of use from business to residential, and then to renovate the Heritage Grade II Listed Office. There was also the issue of applying for a new address, which needed to be completed prior to sale and construction. However, as you can see, it was all worth it! The bathroom radiates elegance and contemporary style, and every detail has been finished to the highest standard. The freestanding his & hers sinks, and the mirror which covers the entire back wall, are the highlights of the design. 

An oasis of calm

Peace and serenity are the first words which spring to mind when we look at this bedroom. A mixture of classic and modern, the overall effect is well balanced and tasteful. The contrast between the white and the rich, chocolatey tones is striking, and the use of the opposing shades ensures the room looks neither too stark nor too dark. This is a perfect bedroom to retreat to for a chilled-out and stress free evening. 

The spectacular new kitchen

Modern ingenuity and sleek design reign supreme in the kitchen. The long kitchen island, with its glossy white surfaces, juxtaposes the dark walls, and light bounces off the reflective surfaces for a dynamic look. The minimalist approach has really paid off here, with a sleek look achieved by the subtle integration of essential features such as the oven and sink.

Dining in style

The raw materials described in the introduction feature strongly in this stylish dining room. Exposed brick merges with concrete beams for an industrial chic vibe, beautifully offset by the glossy dining set and the softness of the floral centrepiece. Again, the lighting plays a key role in maintaining the ambience, and we can easily imagine whiling away the hours over a delicious dinner in this stunning space. 

A little something extra

The garden terrace is a great spot to entertain guests, offering a breathtaking view of the city that can be enjoyed at any hour. The underwater lights flood the terrace with soft white light, creating a sophisticated backdrop to the cocktail parties which undoubtedly take place here, running late into the night. Lights have also been hidden in the planters, which creates a stunning visual effect once the sun sets. 

If you've enjoyed this project, you might also be interested in this floating office in an ex-WWII boat!

What do you think of the transformation? Let us know in a comment!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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