Developed by micro-apartment specialist Inspired Homes, Sutton Court transforms a tired old 1960s-office building in Sutton into a vibrant residential building comprising 82 affordable private one and two bedroom apartments.
Stripped back to the shell and core, Sutton Court has received a makeover that has left it unrecognisable with a contemporary architectural style. The internal layout has been completely reconfigured with new partitions, while outdoor space has been provided by fixing balconies to the concrete slabs using innovative cantilever supports. The facade now comprises attractive Metsec panels on the front of the building with steel fins down the side, while new high spec PVC windows and French doors provide access to the balconies. An innovative structural deck was required to integrate two new floors to the top of the existing building adding nine penthouse apartments.
“Our biggest challenge was integrating two new floors to the top of the building,” comments Matt Cartwright, director at Twelve Architects. “This was overcome by incorporating a structural deck to the top of the existing building enabling the new floors to respond to the new residential layout. To create the new residential appearance, the old facade was replaced with a new design incorporating balconies and contemporary materials.”
Using office-to-residential Permitted Development Rights, Inspired have been able to create micro-apartments that are more affordable both in terms of price and utility bills than space standard compliant new-builds in the same location. Living costs are minimised by utilising the latest in home technology such as the NEST Smart thermostats, low energy LED lights and efficient central heating systems. The idea of owning a small but neat, high tech, high spec space appeals to buyers priced out of the wider market and Inspired’s model is designed so that mortgage, service charge and utility bill costs fall within circa £850 per month.
One-bedroom micro-apartments at Sutton Court range from 30 sq m-37 sq m (323 sq ft-398 sq ft), with two-bedroom micro-apartments around 45 sq m -52 sq m (484 sq ft-560 sq ft), which is up to 40% smaller than the space standard guidelines. With hallway-free design, uniform open-plan living areas and the addition of balconies, the apartments look and feel more spacious than the square footage suggests, while bedrooms easily accommodate a 4ft 6in double bed. The two new floors at the top of the building required a full planning application to be submitted. As a result, these nine new-build apartments comply with space standards, however they remain hallway-free and efficiently designed, making the 50 sq m (538 sq ft) one-bedroom apartments and 65 sq m (700 sq ft) two-bedroom apartments look enormous by comparison.
Inspired Homes has taken advantage of office-to-residential Permitted Development Rights to deliver more than 400 micro-apartments since the policy was first introduced in 2013 – and now boasts a completed and pipeline GDV of over £500m with micro-apartment developments in Croydon, Sutton, Epsom, Crawley, Chertsey and Manchester.
“Although our apartments are smaller, we go big on specification,” says Inspired’s chief executive Martin Skinner. “Our buyers spend more time outside of their apartments either working, travelling, or visiting friends – and as a result, place a greater value on specification, technology and location than space. With more possessions like music and film collections stored in the Cloud, broadband speed is more important to them than shelf space.”
The apartments are high tech, high spec benefiting from an efficient Evinox communal heating system connected to a centralised plant room; Nest Smart thermostat technology; 1Gb Hyperoptic broadband; engineered hardwood flooring; Granite kitchen worktops; Bosch appliances, Hans Grohe taps; and Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware.
The development is due to complete in June. The micro-apartments are now fully sold but there are still some penthouses available. Prices start at £404,950 and purchasers can benefit from a 40% Help to Buy London Government Equity Loan. Call the sales team on 020 8688 6552 to enquire.