Anyone who has ever approached London from the west will surely have noticed the remarkable Art Deco Hoover building on the A40. And perhaps felt a little bit sad that it was mostly home to a giant supermarket. But guess what – it has been converted into flats and while the supermarket will remain that means that we can have a little peak inside. Wanna come?
I heard about this only a couple of days ago following a talk I did at The Electric, part of Soho House, on the new book – which was formally launched last night at Heals as you read this. The next day I received an email from someone who had been at the talk asking if I would help her decorate her new flat in the Hoover Building. Well how fast can you type: Yes please I’m on my way round right now.
In the meantime I thought you might like to have a little look. Sadly all the flats have been sold now but I’m told there are still a couple for rent via IDM Properties.
The building was designed in 1931 by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners and was the UK HQ for the manufacture and repair of Hoovers. It was regarded as a model factory for the welfare of the 3000 people who worked there. But in the 1980s production ceased and in 1989 it was taken over by Tesco who used it as both a supermarket and office space.
But it was mostly empty until, in 2015, it was bought by IDM properties who wanted to convert it into flats. They hired Interrobang to come up with a plan for both accommodation ranging from studio flats to three bedroom homes with the instructions to keep as many of the original art deco features as possible.
It was quite complicated to convert as the architects need to insert extra floors between the existing ones but I think you will agree that the end result is amazing. Imagine sleeping in that bed under the stars. I tried to do that – albeit with a much smaller skylight – in the bathroom in the loft. I wanted to lie in the bath and look at the stars but I didn’t brief the builder properly and he put the window in the middle of the ceiling, which was entirely logical, but meant that it’s my tummy that looks out and my head is still staring at the ceiling. So I painted it navy blue to compensate.
They have kept the light and bright feel with this open plan living space in the show flat too. What do you think?
I’m always banging on about how important the hall is when it comes to setting the mood after a long day at work. Imagine opening your door to this every day. Even getting a letter out of that lovely shiny pigeonhole would feel special wouldn’t it?
Sadly that’s all we’ve got time for this week. It’s been a busy few days what with the talk at Soho House and a tiny, tiny, two minute appearance on You & Yours on Radio 4 on Wednesday – which somehow took the whole morning to prepare for and travel to and from. I hope you will forgive me a short, but I reckon, brilliant post – in terms of the pictures anyway!
Have a lovely weekend everyone.