“A rare opportunity in one of Lubetkin's finest modernist designs”
This well-proportioned studio apartment lies on the ground floor of Highpoint, widely considered to be one of the most significant modernist buildings in London. Designed in the 1930s by preeminent modernist architect Berthold Lubetkin, the building was granted Grade I-listed status in recognition of its extraordinary architectural rarity and quality. The apartment retains many of the hallmarks of Lubetkin’s design, from the generous single-paned windows to the cork flooring and original door furniture. Positioned only a short walk from the green swathes of Hampstead Heath, the building occupies a beautiful spot in the centre of the much-loved Highgate. Please note: the apartment is largely in its original condition and may require some updating.
One of the most important figures in modernism, Berthold Lubetkin set up the architectural practice Tecton in 1932; early commissions included the iconic Penguin Pool and Gorilla House at London Zoo. Lubetkin and Tecton’s buildings became some of the most renowned of the period, ranging from private houses in Sydenham to a modernist terrace in Plumstead, south London, as well as the Finsbury Health Centre and the Highpoint apartments in Highgate. For more information on Highpoint, please see the History section below.
Like something out of a time-warp, the communal areas of Highpoint are immaculately maintained and reflect the architect’s original utopian vision. The building has a plethora of private amenities designed to foster a greater sense of community and well-being; these include beautifully landscaped communal gardens with extensive lawns, a climbing frame, tennis courts and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
There is also a comprehensive porter service, whose duties include helping to arrange maintenance and repairs for each flat, organising medical assistance, receiving deliveries, and so forth.
There is off-street parking for residents on a first-come, first-served basis and there is a bike shed in the garden.
The entrance to the apartment is from the lower-ground level, via a short set of steps and immaculately maintained communal areas. There is also the option to use the lift. The front door opens onto a wonderfully bright open-plan studio space, with its original cork flooring running throughout. Large, single-paned Crittall windows opposite allow plenty of natural light to pour deep into the plan.
The kitchen, storage room and bathroom are positioned off the central hallway. The storage room in the middle, with its built-in shelving and rail, can easily be configured as a dressing area, while a built-in table also allows for a variety of different uses such as homeworking. Generous glazing continues in the galley kitchen at the rear of the plan, which is largely executed in neutral cabinetry with stainless steel fixtures, sensitively reflecting the modernist aesthetic of the building.
Highgate Village is also nearby and has a wide variety of shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants, including The Flask, and fruit and veg shop Greens of Highgate. There is also The Grocery Post on Archway Road, which serves good coffee and groceries. There are excellent schools in the area, including Highgate School, Highgate Primary School, St Michael’s Primary School and Channing.
The Heath offers freshwater swimming year-round in the nearby Bathing Ponds and some of London’s most beautiful woodland walks. In addition to elevated views of the city from Parliament Hill, there are tennis courts, cafes and Kenwood House, a wonderful 17th-century country house and gallery.
The Northern Line at Highgate provides direct access to King’s Cross, the West End and the City, and there are convenient road links to the A1, leading to the M1, A406 and M25.
Lease: approx. 990
Service charge: approx. £6,000 per annum (including buildings insurance, management charges, repairs to shared areas, concierge, sinking fund, storage unit and bike store, communal gardens, tennis courts and swimming pool)
Ground Rent: approx. £50 per annum
Council Tax Band: C
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.
Berthold Lubetkin is among the most important figures of the Modern Movement in Britain. 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 Architectural Association graduates Anthony Chitty, Lindsay Drake, Michael Dugdale, Valentine Harding, Godfrey Samuel and Francis Skinner.
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 writes:
“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.”