‘ Approximately 6 years ago I found myself looking for a flat in London. For all of my working life I have been a musician and songwriter/producer but had, thus far, avoided the necessity of actually living in the big smoke. I was based in Derbyshire, where for the cost of a one bed flat, you could swan around in a Grade 2 listed Manor House and watch the lambs being born in the acres of land that straddled my studio window! But things had changed. Nobody worth working with was leaving London, and so with some hesitation I decided to look for a place where I could live/work in a city I had no real understanding of. Given I had always lived in the North and with a preference generally for older buildings, certainly no younger than Victorian, I started looking for flats in larger converted houses. I was shocked at the dilapidated state most of these seemed to be in and in general how little you could get for what seemed like a lot of money.
At the point of giving up, I spotted an article in the London Evening Standard. I think the heading was something like ‘Loft Living in Hackney’. I had never even been to Hackney but the very next week I made the trip to view a huge development, which had been given the title of ‘Arthaus’. I was immediately drawn to the stunning Victorian redbrick façade, which had been retained, providing a strong initial impression. Inside, behind this lovely façade, was a clean, modern treatment and an all-new ‘state of the art’ build. I
loved it immediately. Not only was this a brilliantly impressive building, with its enormous atrium, which at the time housed an art gallery and incorporated some seriously good restaurants, it would provide an invigorating location for me to invite the artists that I was working with at the time. I also found that the
large number of decibels my flat was emitting seemed to bother nobody, presumably due to the concrete floors and ceilings. This worked for me and I was happy working at Arthaus for around three years.
‘Lynas Smith’ the architects, I soon realised, were creating a reputation for designing new-builds that broke the mould. I had been tipped off about a new building in the same area that incorporated a roof top swimming pool. There is nothing more Rock n Roll than a roof top swimming pool! so naturally I had to go and look at a flat that had come to market there. Warehaus is a compact but stunning jewel in the heart of London Fields. Just 30 some flats but each one had been given a feeling of spaciousness and again that
clean modern and simple finish. I was infatuated even with out the roof top pool and promptly moved from Arthaus to Warehaus, with out a blink. Here the styling was a touch more industrial with exposed concrete ceilings with some statement lighting incorporated. To this day I live/work here when I’m in London and it serves me very well. I look forward to seeing some more of Lynas Smith’s future projects!
Tim Kellett is an ‘Ivor Novello’ award-winning songwriter and founder member
of the pop group Simply Red.
His musical ‘The Canary Girls’ will open in 2019
and has recently formed a new band, Zenzero (zenzeromusic.com)