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Largest and most expensive home in the Barbican Estate is former management office now for sale for £4.5 million

·3-min read
A five-bedroom home in the iconic estate is for sale for £4.5 million  (Handout)
A five-bedroom home in the iconic estate is for sale for £4.5 million (Handout)

The largest and most expensive home in the Barbican estate has gone on sale for £4.5 million, weeks after the price of a flat in the iconic Brutalist complex breached the £1 million price barrier for the first time.

The 3,071sq ft street-level home was once the management office for the 1960s housing estate, which was built on a 40-acre bomb site on the edge of the City.

The five-bedroom property was bought in the late Noughties by architect couple Ken Mackay and Tracey Wiles to live in with their three young children. They transformed it into a striking and atmospheric home, keeping the exposed concrete walls and pillars of the utilitarian building on show.

“It has beautiful proportions. The Twentieth Century Society was creeping all over us, making sure we didn’t touch the fabric of the building,” Mackay told the Evening Standard in 2008. He runs the practice Mackay + Partners while Wiles is a partner at the firm Make Architects.

The home is packed with hi-spec appliances but fixtures only lightly touch the walls and pillars, if at all, in order to protect the original building materials of the Grade II-listed structure (Handout)
The home is packed with hi-spec appliances but fixtures only lightly touch the walls and pillars, if at all, in order to protect the original building materials of the Grade II-listed structure (Handout)

“It had the cosiness of a residence but the scale and materiality of the Barbican,” Wiles added.

The double-door entrance is accessible through a courtyard garden that has a 20ft waterfall feature built into a staircase — the cascade serves as a piece of artwork but also creates a soft, white noise to drown out the sounds of the city.

Four of the bedrooms encircle the central living area while the master bedroom is on the mezzanine level (Handout)
Four of the bedrooms encircle the central living area while the master bedroom is on the mezzanine level (Handout)

The Dada kitchen has Gaggenau and Bosch appliances but the fixtures and fittings only lightly touch the walls and pillars, if at all, in order to protect the original building materials of the Grade II-listed structure.

Dark stained teak wood flooring runs underfoot while walls are crisp and white. There’s a library, wine cellar and a leather-padded cinema room with an in-built, large plasma TV concealed by an engineered black glass vertical sliding screen. Four of the bedrooms encircle the central living area while the master bedroom is on the mezzanine level.

The family put it up for sale with The Modern House in 2015 when it was also priced at £4.5 million. However, they changed tack in 2016 and rented it out. Finally, they have decided to sell again this month via Frank Harris & Co.

Selling agent Tracey Evans describes the interiors as “spectacular” and “ultra-stylish”.

As well as the residential estate of low rise buildings and towers, the Barbican Arts Centre is nextdoor, as is the Museum of London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This creative corner of the City is the start of what is being billed as the Culture Mile.

Built between 1965 and 1976, the Barbican has been home to famous residents such as the Conservative Cabinet Minister Norman Tebbit, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and the footballer George Best.

The statuesque building was used to represent M16 HQ in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace and fictional psychopathic murderer Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) from the hit TV series Luther lived in an apartment at the top of one of the towers.

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