Art Deco architecture is cleverly blended with Moroccan-inspired flourishes in this two-bedroom apartment set in a Grade-II listed building in the heart of The City of London. High ceilings are punctuated by expansive windows framing far-reaching views towards Canary Wharf and Tobacco Docks, creating a nest above The City below. The historic building is excellently located for access to the financial district, quick connections to Canary Wharf and the host of restaurants and shops at Spitalfields.
Setting the Scene
Built in 1932 as the London Headquarters of the Co-Operative Wholesale Society, Number One Prescot Street is a striking example of Art Deco architecture. Originally an impressive trading complex, the building was designed by architect Leonard Grey Ekins, inspired by his years in Germany and Belgium.
From the street, the building is immediately imposing: extending over six storeys, the façade is characterised by its protruding brickwork punctuated by large paned windows, offset by the green pantiled mansard roof with two rows of dormers. On the ground floor, a cement surround has been channelled to look like stone, with Egyptian motifs carved above the doorframes. Described by Historic England as ‘an unusual example in Britain of the German Expressionist style’ and was Grade II listed in 1990 for its historic importance. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Set on the fifth floor, the apartment is orientated to the east, meaning it is exceptionally light. Entry is to the central hallway, which opens to four rooms; the two bedrooms, the main bathroom and the living room. Morrocan influences run throughout the apartment, evident in cabinetry finished with Islamic-inspired carving and the ogee arches that divide the spaces. One such arch leads through to the living room, where high ceilings and large windows bring a sense of grandeur while elegant walnut floors and rich orange walls add warmth. On the right is a full-length bookshelf, creating useful storage space, with beautiful open wood carving on the base.
A compact kitchen sits next door, partitioned by walls painted in vibrant crimson. A small arched portal creates a connection between the spaces, simultaneously allowing for cooking and entertaining. The kitchen is painted a deep red with an orange gloss splashback, echoing the detail in the portal. Cabinetry conceals a built-in dishwasher, washer-dryer and fridge-freezer, as well as plenty of storage space.
Both bedrooms, like the living room, are incredibly light. The principal bedroom has opposite walls decorated with contrasting blue wallpaper. Built cupboards, again adorned with open wood carving, help to keep the space streamlined. The en suite bathroom has a distinctly Japanese sensibility, with a wooden ofuru imported from Kobe. The second bedroom, currently used as a study, has white walls plastered in Tadelakt, adding texture.
The main bathroom has been brilliantly designed to make the most of the space. Painted a bright and glossy yellow, which reflects the light into the room, a square jacuzzi bath has a rainfall shower above; Bluetooth speakers and chromotherapy lighting are built-in, meaning the room can be transformed into a spa at any hour.
Out and About
Prescot Street is in the heart of The City, just minutes from the Tower of London. Old Spitalfields Market, with its array of restaurants and bars, is a short walk away. The area is chock-full of fantastic restaurants, including, Gunpowder, St. John Bread & Wine and Crispin, which serves from breakfast through to dinner as well as natural wines. The thriving Brick Lane is just a short walk away, where the famed 24-hour Beigel Bake is a must-stop. To the south of Prescot Street is Saint Katharine Docks, where you can find the renowned The Dickens Inn.
There are plenty of underground lines within walking distance from Prescot Street. Aldgate East is a seven-minute walk, and Aldgate is nine minutes, providing connections to the District, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith lines., DLR access is provided from Bank and Tower Hill, whilst Liverpool Street Station, with its range of rail and underground lines, is a 15-minute walk.
Lease Length: 973 years remaining
Service Charge: £2,800 per annum
Ground Rent: £200 per annum
Council Tax Band: F
The English Co-Operative Wholesale Society, known as CWS, was a federation where the members were consumer co-operatives. It is a forerunner of the Co-Operative Group and was a functioning body from 1863. The success of the CWS necessitated the foundation of branches across the country, including in Manchester, Bristol and London. The building at Prescot Street was one of the most ambitious branches designed by the CWS’s architect, L.S. Elkins, and subsequently became the headquarters of the CMS.
Before the construction of this building, the area was known as Goodmans Fields, named after Roland Goodman, who farmed in the area in the sixteenth century, supplying provisions to the nuns of the nearby St Clare’s Abbey. By the eighteenth century, it was a ‘tender’ ground used for stretching out newly woven or dyed cloth, allowing it to dry.
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