Architect: Berthold Lubetkin
North Hill, London N6
This two-bedroom apartment is situated on the first floor of Highpoint, arguably the finest example of residential Modernist architecture in London.
Designed by Berthold Lubetkin in the 1930s, Highpoint has been listed at Grade I by English Heritage in recognition of its extraordinary architectural rarity and quality (for more information, see the History section).
Entrance to the apartment is via the building’s beautiful and immaculately maintained lobby. This particular apartment measures approximately 851 sqft, and includes a wonderfully proportioned dual-aspect reception room, with a south-facing panoramic window that looks over the striking entrance of neighbouring Highpoint II. There are two bedrooms, both with original built-in wardrobes, a separate kitchen, a bathroom and a neatly sized study that is positioned off the wide entrance hall.
Highpoint has a 24-hour porterage service, which is comprehensive and includes help with arranging maintenance and repairs for each flat, organising medical assistance, receiving deliveries etc. It has lift access, glorious communal gardens with extensive lawns, a climbing frame, residents’ tennis courts and a heated outdoor swimming pool. There is off-street parking for residents on a first-come first-served basis. Each flat has a sizeable space in the basement for storage, and there is a bike shed in the garden. The service charge includes the provision of central heating and hot water.
Highpoint is conveniently located within a short walk of both Highgate Village – with its shops, cafés and restaurants – and Highgate Underground station (Northern Line). The open spaces of Hampstead Heath and Kenwood are also close at hand.
Tenure: Leasehold with Share of Freehold
Lease Length: approx. 994 years (999 years from 1st January 2012)
Service Charge: approx. £9,200 per annum (£2,300 per quarter)
Ground Rent: approx. £62.48 per annum (£15.62 per quarter)
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.
The Highpoint apartments, so-called because of their location on an elevated site, are one of the best examples of early International Style architecture in London. They were built in two phases: Highpoint I in 1935 and Highpoint II in 1938.
In his book Modern: The Modern Movement in Britain, Alan Powers wrote:
“Perhaps the single most celebrated Modernist building of the 1930s in London, and praised even by Le Corbusier, Highpoint I was commissioned by Sigmund Gestetner, an industrialist with a strong interest in the social role of Modernism. The footprint developed as a Cross of Lorraine, with equal arms, each containing a single flat, reached from two stair and lift cores at the intersections. The building is entered beneath the projecting end of the long axis, and the ground-floor plan bends and flows in contrast to the more rigid geometry overhead, leading to the stairs and through to the gardens beyond.
“The construction in monolithic reinforced concrete was a collaboration with Ove Arup and was facilitated by lifting the shuttering by stages to form the walls. The details of servicing and fittings were meticulously thought through, producing some novel alternative solutions.”
Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990) was one of the most important figures of the Modern Movement. Born in Georgia in 1901, he studied in Berlin and Paris, before moving to London in 1931. The following year he founded the famous Tecton practice with the Architectural Association graduates Anthony Chitty, Lindsay Drake, Michael Dugdale, Valentine Harding, Godfrey Samuel and Francis Skinner.
Amongst Tecton’s first commissions, led by Lubetkin, were the iconic penguin pool and gorilla house for London Zoo – both unique early examples of Modernism in the UK. Lubetkin and Tecton’s buildings went on to become some of the most iconic of the period, and include private houses in Sydenham, one of the UK’s only Modernist terraces in Plumstead, south London, Finsbury Health Centre and the Highpoint apartments in Highgate. The latter is described by the architectural historian Alan Powers as “perhaps the single most celebrated Modernist building of the 1930s in London.”