Everyone’s heard of the Chiltern Firehouse by now; for the past year, the restaurant in Marylebone’s Chiltern Hotel has been the hottest ticket in London. But give it a few years and the great and the good may have moved on to pastures new – London’s newest park, in fact. The team behind the Firehouse’s extraordinary revival, Manhattan Loft Corporation, is due to start construction this month on Manhattan Loft Gardens in Stratford’s Olympic Park. The mixed-use development has been described by MLC creator and Firehouse co-founder Harry Handelson as his “most ambitious venture yet” and it’s hitting the London scene in early 2018.
The project started life as a boutique hotel of around 145 rooms with a rooftop garden restaurant. But as soon as Handelsen saw the potential of the space, he added a 42-storey residential tower, another restaurant and a couple more roof gardens for good measure. Comprising 248 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments and “lofts” on 240 year leaseholds, interiors firm K&O has designed each unit so no two are the same; some come with juliette balconies, some have intimate “dens” in addition to the main living space, while others have 4m high ceilings.
Even the architecture of the building, created by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which masterminded Canary Wharf and Broadgate, is ambitiously conceived. Roof gardens and restaurants reside inside large chunks that have been torn out of the tower to create a “cantilevered” skyscraper. Angled windows also create a serrated edge that throws jagged shafts of light into the building. “We wanted to reinvent high rise living in London with volumes of space and light,” says sales and marketing director Ray Smith. “We thought about it in the way commercial towers are thought of, as part of London’s skyline, and the shape of the building changes depending on where you’re looking from.” Potential homeowners can see for themselves in the marketing suite where cutting edge virtual reality console Oculus can take you for a 3D tour inside the building. The first batch of apartments went on sale last week and Smith thinks MLC is on track to sell 25 per cent of them before the first brick has even been laid.
Prices for a studio start at £400,000. For more information and viewings, call sales agents Savills on 020 7531 2512 or visit the marketing suite at 65 Hopton Street, Southwark, SE1