Architect: Brian Heron
The Water Tank
Keeling House, Claredale Street, London E2
This hugely exciting and unique one-bedroom duplex penthouse has been converted from the former water tank on top of Keeling House, one of London’s finest Modernist residential buildings. It has just been completed and is being sold for the first time.
Keeling House is approached via a set of secure gates, and across a forecourt to a glazed atrium which is manned by a concierge. There is lift access to the 14th floor, then a walk up a set of metal stairs to the entrance to this apartment, which is on the 16th floor.
There is lockup storage outside the front door, and coat storage as you come in. The open-plan reception and kitchen occupies the 17th floor, with full-height glazing on both sides looking east and west. This is partly frosted and partly louvered for planning reasons, providing remarkable framed views of the surrounding city.
The bedroom is on the 18th floor, containing a raised OSB bed with a child’s bed beneath and built-in stepped storage alongside. It faces east so that you can lie in bed and watch the sunrise, and there is an opening rooflight above for stargazing. The bathroom is on the western side and enjoys the sunsets. A freestanding Italian square bath doubles as a shower, with a vertically sliding tap.
The aesthetic is deliberately functionalist, with walls and ceilings made from OSB, and micro-cement polished concrete flooring. The German flat-pack kitchen continues this narrative.
The apartment has mechanical ventilation, a heat recovery unit, underfloor heating, and an Automist fire suppression system on the 17th and 18th floors. It also has a small area of separate outside space on the 15th floor, which is covered overhead and has open sides; potentially this could be used for storage or as an outdoor studio space.
Claredale Street is very well positioned for both Columbia Road flower market and Broadway Market. Open space can be found at London Fields. Bethnal Green Underground station (Central Line) is approximately 500 metres away, providing easy access to Liverpool Street and the West End. Rail services are available from Cambridge Heath, and there are good bus links.
Lease Length: approx. 981 years (999 years from 25th December 1999)
Service Charge: approx. £1,735.50 per annum
Ground Rent: peppercorn
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Keeling House was built between 1954 and 1957 by the greatly revered Modernist architect Denys Lasdun, and was renovated to a very high standard by Munkenbeck + Marshall in 2001.
The building was given a Grade II* listing in 1993 in recognition of its architectural significance. Although originally built for council tenants, it was sold to a developer in 1999, and all of the flats are now in private ownership.
Denys Lasdun’s original design shunned the traditional slab block in favour of a winged plan (four blocks arrange around a central service tower), which encouraged the occupants to interact with each other.
Munkenbeck + Marshall’s highly praised 2001 renovation earned an RIBA award and a Civic Trust commendation. The architects added a striking glass entrance area.
In 2011, planning permission and listed building consent were granted for the conversion of the disused water tank on top of the building. This exciting and ambitious project was overseen by the architect Brian Heron. A three-storey steel-framed extension was added to the existing stairwell, with Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) cladding panels coated to match the existing stair core. Fixed translucent privacy louvres were installed on both the 17th and 18th floors, to minimise the overlooking of the penthouse roof terraces below.