SYMPATHETIC CONVERSIONS ARE CATCHING ON

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As demand for characterful homes grows, the trend is towards preserving listed buildings by carefully converting them into upmarket apartments.
Tim Harrison reports.

On Putney’s western edge stands one of those extraordinary buildings that has such poise and grace that you can’t resist looking as you drive past. Roehampton House was designed in 1712 by the baroque architect Sir Thomas Archer, then extended with north and south wings in 1912 by Sir Edwin Lutyens – a man often described as the greatest British architect.

Understandably, it is Grade I listed. Which made the application to convert it into upmarket flats rather tricky.

But converted it was, with 22 apartments carved out of the main structure. So successful has the project proved that other Grade I conversions are now being contemplated as a way of breathing life into monuments and ensuring structures which are inevitably expensive to maintain are properly preserved for the future.

There was only one precedent in London for turning a Grade I building into flats; the clever transformation of St Pancras Chambers – George Gilbert Scott’s gothic masterpiece – into 67 flats in 2010.

Just three of the 22 flats in Roehampton House are still up for grabs – but only millionaires need apply.

The trio are numbers 12, 15 and 19, ranging in price from £1.35m to £1.85m. The most expensive, No19, is a second-floor flat with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The conversion was done by developer St James, overseen by English Heritage.

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The history of Roehampton House is fascinating, from its early days as the stunning home of a family of merchants to its use in the First World War as a convalescing retreat for wounded soldiers.

Period features have been retained throughout the building, with portal windows, original staircases, fireplaces, Georgian sash windows and fussy cornicing.

Sean Ellis, chairman of St James, said: “This has been our first restoration of a Grade I listed building, and it truly has been a labour of love. Grade I listed homes in London are extremely rare.”

Two show apartments were dressed by Vogue Interiors as part of the marketing drive, with Alno kitchens, V ZUG appliances and flooring including marble, stone, wood and carpet.

Residents each have two secure parking spaces, a fully equipped gym and a commuter coach service, and there are even wine cellars available to keep your half-decent bottles!

In total, St James has invested £250m in Roehampton.

Details from St James on 020 3004 4112 or click here for further details on our website

Picture: Roehampton House – just three flats remaining


By Tim Harrison 25.07.13

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