Prices From £640.000
Keybridge is a 74,300 square metre residential-led development of 242 private homes based around a 37-storey brick tower on the site of a former eyesore building in Vauxhall.
After developers gave the media a preview of plans for the former telephone exchange, the London Evening Standard reported: “Steel and glass take second place as new designer bricks make their impact on London’s skyline.”
The new development, which is due to complete in 2017, will be made up of four buildings including Keybridge Lofts – the UK’s highest brick tower – plus one acre of open space, a central garden square with amenities for children, shops, offices and a primary school.
The main tower will be finished in orange bricks, while the eight-storey Keybridge House and other lower-rise buildings will be finished in red brick to blend in with nearby Edwardian mansion blocks and the listed St Anne and All Saints Church, where a new piazza will also be created.
All the studio, one, two and three-bed Manhattan-style apartments – plus duplex homes with dual aspect views and private outdoor spaces – will combine high ceilings and industrial-style interiors featuring exposed brick, metal detailing and end-cut grain timber flooring.
On-site amenities include a club lounge on the mezzanine floor overlooking the 24-hour concierge and lobby featuring informal seating areas, hot desk area and meeting table.
The residents-only spa/gym has a 15-metre swimming pool, sauna and steam room, while basement cycle storage and underground parking will also be available.
A brief history of Keybridge
The £92.5m deal to purchase Keybridge House from BT was completed by joint developers Mount Anvil and A2Dominion in late 2014.
Standing at 75m high, the 15-storey tower on South Lambeth Road was built in 1975 for the Post Office on the site of a former fishpaste factory.
But it was not Vauxhall’s most attractive development. In fact, the former telephone exchange was widely regarded as one of London’s ugliest buildings and was rumoured to be the home of spies due to its proximity to MI6’s headquarters.
But despite its once unappealing exterior – which led architectural critic Sir Nikolaus Pevsner to describe the property as “forbidding” and the BBC to use it for the filming of crime thriller Luther and spy drama Legacy – Keybridge occupies a prime position in the capital’s biggest redevelopment zone around Vauxhall and Nine Elms.
When the £15bn regeneration of Nine Elms is complete by 2020, this stretch of riverside on the southern side of the River Thames will become London’s new diplomatic quarter.
The US Embassy is close to completing a new £620m base, while about 16,000 high-rise luxury homes in the glass and steel tower blocks that the Evening Standard referred to are being built alongside 1.5m square feet of retail space, 2.5m square feet of office space, restaurants and leisure attractions.
The key to the regeneration of Nine Elm is a 3km extension of London Underground’s Northern Line, which will deliver two new tube stations serving the area.
Vauxhall, however, already has the infrastructure purchasers of luxury London homes demand.
Vauxhall Station, which is just six minutes’ walk from Keybridge, provides speedy tube, overground and bus services to central London.
This part of the SW8 postcode also offers a wide range of well-established local amenities, including a branch of Waitrose in Bondway.
Like Embassy Works, a former laundry warehouse built in the late 1800s that has been transformed into a collection of 37 luxury studio, one-bed and two-bed apartments – plus two duplex penthouses – Keybridge sits across the road from Vauxhall Park’s leafy walks and lavender field.
Café culture is also on offer at nearby Bonnington Square, while many of the railway arches in the area that reflect Vauxhall’s industrial heritage are being brought back to life as restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues.
Cultural attractions include Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, the Oval Cricket ground plus Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens — a venue dating back four centuries that puts on a summer programme of outdoor cinema screenings and is home to a temporary ice rink in winter.
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