Once split into two flats, architects reinstated this home's grand proportions and original features for a charming, modern take on apartment living. 

victorian school conversion - gpad london exterior - grand designs

Image: Tim Crocker

Once the cookery and laundry teaching facility of a nearby Victorian school, this historic building in London's Clerkenwell had been previously converted into two flats. However with a new owner looking to connect the two spaces to create one spacious house, gpad london were drafted in to complete this intensive renovation. 

Double-height living spaces 

victorian school conversion - gpad london kitchen and mezzanine - grand designs

Image: Tim Crocker 

Repairing and retaining as many of the original features as possible was a key to the brief, as was creating flow between these previously disconnected spaces. An open-plan living space has been created with a modern, but compact kitchen, above which sits a mezzanine level.

victorian school conversion - gpad london double height living room - grand designs

Image: Tim Crocker 

The original vaulted roof has been kept, as have the queen post timber trusses – a characterful feature in the double height living spaces. This rich, warm wood is a running theme throughout, including the newly installed chevron wooden flooring. In contrast, the furniture is modern, sleek and understated. 

The original windows have all been kept, but repainted and draught proofed, as well as fitted with automated blinds and curtains, to give them new life. 

Hotel-luxe master suite  

victorian school conversion - gpad london bathroom - grand designs 

Image: Tim Crocker 

The master and guest bedroom suites are located on the ground floor, with luxurious ensuite double bathrooms. The bathrooms are clad in dramatically-veined Noir St. Laurent marble, specified by gpad. 

victorian school conversion - gpad london bedroom - grand designs 

Image: Tim Crocker 

Where windows span full height, recesses have been made between levels with the window dressings running through. While stripping out the building, original stoves were discovered, reinstated and reused as fireplaces for the new house.

Re-instating flow

victorian school conversion - gpad london exterior - grand designs

Image: Tim Crocker

The original staircase has been kept, beside an exposed brick wall and a bespoke built-in joinery piece that provides storage, display and desk space. The joinery is intricately detailed, with recessed lighting added.


What do you think of this Victorian conversion? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page



Inside a barn conversion pioneering hemp as a building material

Take a look inside this colourful chapel conversion

More on Conversions...

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live Online: Self Build & Renovation Weekend 31 July – 1 August 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.

Barn conversions: 9 of the best contemporary rural homes

Barn conversions provide a generously-spaced shell for converting into a rural family home. Explore these 9 projects in more detail.

A converted Portuguese winery with a unique red façade

This sensitive restoration is at once both modern and inextricably linked to the history of the building.

Converting a garage: what you need to know

Choosing to convert your garage could be a great way of extending your current living space. Here are a few things to consider before taking...

Inside a former Victorian school cookery given a new hotel-luxe style

Take a tour of this former cooking and laundry school turned contemporary apartment in Clerkenwell, London.

How to create a home fit for a multigenerational family

Whether for adult children or elderly relatives, multigenerational living is a growing trend that can be improved in practice by good design.

Loft conversions with the wow-factor

Loft conversions can add space, light and balance to a home. Here are some of 2019’s best, all with real wow-factor.