Set right in the middle of the Westminster Cathedral Conservation Area, there’s an achingly chic collection of loft apartments that wouldn’t look out of place in New York.
Francis St, Westminster, £11.5m
As incongruent as it seems, this former Royal Mail sorting house on Francis Street was taken over and converted into a new “creative quarter” in the heart of Westminster nearly a decade ago. Developer Estate Four, whose CEO is Italian real estate magnate Alessandro Cajrati Crivelli, turned the upper floors into empty, but expansive shells and sold them to creative souls needing to exorcise their décor demons.
On the ground floor, commercial space is occupied by the likes of Tom Ford and industrial designer Marc Newson, who also owns an apartment above. The space has also been used to host catwalk shows for Chanel, Mark Williamson and a photography exhibition by Mario Testino.
“Across Victoria, Wesminster and Pimlico, this sort of thing doesn’t exist,” says Robert Oatley, head of Knight Frank’s Victoria and Westminster office, which is handling the sale. “It’s the sort of warehouse flat you’d usually find in Covent Garden and Soho.”
This apartment is the first in the building to go on sale on the open market. Currently owned by an art collector who comes from the South of France, it’s filled to the brim with artistic treasures. “It’s amazing for displaying art,’ says Oatley. “The lighting that’s been put in sets the mood in each room, and it’s completely customisable, so you can set it up however you want.”
Appliances are hidden away in the utility room or simply slide into partitions and there’s even a projector next to the dining table so you can watch your favourite film on the wall over dinner.
The apartment spans 5,334sqft, half of which is taken up by the vast reception/kitchen/dining space, with three double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a guest bathroom and two underground parking spaces.
“This is a trophy asset for somebody, this isn’t for somebody who needs to move,” says Oatley.
Call Robert Oatley at Knight Frank on 020 3866 2971