Highgate's Highpoint has flats for many budgets
PUBLISHED: 18:54 28 November 2014 | UPDATED: 18:54 28 November 2014
The penguins at London Zoo may have spurned Lubetkin-designed living when they moved out of their renowned enclosure, but few design fanatics looking for a home in Highgate will pass up the opportunity to live in one of London's most celebrated Modernist buildings.
Three apartments in Berthold Lubetkin’s 1930s Grade I-listed Highpoint development are currently up for sale, and with flats built to varying sizes and comfort-levels, there is something on offer for a range of budgets.
Built in 1935, Highpoint I is admired by architecture aficionados across the board, and even counted Le Corbusier as a fan.
The building was commissioned by industrialist Sigmund Gestetner, who ran an office supplies business and intended to house his staff there and was built with the help of renowned Danish engineer Ove Arup.
The least expensive flat on the market at the moment is a second-floor studio available through Benham & Reeves for £400,000.
At 265 sq ft the property is certainly compact but the interior has been imaginatively designed to make efficient use of the space.
A sleeping area is slotted into a separated space between the reception room and a self-contained kitchen – so breakfast in bed will never be difficult.
The compact shower room has been modernised into a sort of wet room, made possible because of the separate toilet.
Mark Sumray, director at Benham & Reeves Highgate says: “The flat’s tiny but what they’ve done with the space is amazing.
“The building is an architectural masterpiece and the studio is very cleverly designed in keeping with that. This is the best example I’ve seen of one of the studios.
“You’ve got an amazing pied-a-terre with landscaped gardens, two tennis courts and a heated swimming pool.”
Use of communal facilities like these certainly make smaller flats in the block a cut above similar properties elsewhere.
The building’s position also affords it spectacular views over the whole of London, which can be best appreciated from the higher floors.
A two-bedroom flat on the fourth floor, also available through Benham & Reeves for £950,000, makes the most of these with all round views.
This flat is more capacious at 890 sq ft and has a study, which could be converted into a third bedroom.
In true Modernist style, the layout is flexible, with walls constructed out of sliding doors between the master bedroom and de rigueur open plan reception/dining room.
Lubetkin himself lived in a spectacular penthouse in Highpoint I while he was working on Highpoint II, which was built next door in 1938.
The distinctive caryatids at the entrance were Lubetkin’s ironic response to complaints by locals that the modern buildings were out of place amongst the Georgian houses more typically seen in the area.
He left a small gap between their heads and the concrete canopy as the cantilevered engineering was held up without any additional support, although this has since been filled in due to its unsettling effect on passers-by.
Flats in this building were designed to be far more luxurious than the flats in Highpoint I and the building contains only 12 duplexes.
A four-bedroom flat on the first and second floors of the building is on sale for £1,399,000 through The Modern House.
There is direct lift access to the apartment and an original travertine staircase connects the lower floor to the upper, which has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
In a piece of fortuitous timing, the lower floor was opened up before the building was listed so the partly open-plan reception-dining room is unique.