Sir David Adjaye’s seminal Lost House in London is up for sale for $8.2 million, offering a rare opportunity to buy a private residence by the acclaimed Ghanaian-British architect.
The 2004 concrete house, built on a former industrial site in King’s Cross, north London, has a glamorous interior with black walls, colorful accents, an indoor lap pool, and an internal fish pond. Its inward-facing design and anonymous brick façade give it total privacy.
According to James Klonaris of The Modern House, the home’s joint selling agent, the Lost House is an important work of Adjaye created at the peak of his career and has featured in television shows including “Spooks”, “Silent Witness” and “Lucky Man”, Danny Boyle’s “Trance” film (2013), and in Harpers Bazaar, In Style, Glamour and Vogue magazine photoshoots.
Like jewels encased in a box, the 4,000-square-foot, three-bedroom Crinan Street house, built on a drive-through yard and alleyway, is completely concealed from view from the street, earning it its moniker. Located a few minutes’ walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations, its front features a former delivery entrance and a small black door, which offer no hint of what lies beyond it.
The multi-level, minimalist house centers around a 60ft-long space, which has a 4m-high ceiling and walls clad in engineered wooden boards and vertical wooden slats. The reception area sits between the two open-air spaces, the aquarium-style, glass-walled pond and a tropical courtyard garden. To one side of the kitchen is a sunken cinema room with lime green walls and upholstered seating.
Light pours in from above via the three light wells, which culminate into the two courtyard gardens and the pond. Mirrored panels and black resin flooring in the reception room provide reflective surfaces, further enhancing light levels. Reflective black paint, meanwhile, has been used on its walls.
Klonaris notes that its multi-level layout provides a “modernist feel” while its black walls “work beautifully” in the building. “The light wells illuminate the lush plants, transporting you to a tropical place,” he says. “The house is a contemporary, urban take on a Balinese villa. At night, up-lighters illuminate garden foliage, offering a different ambiance.”
On its lower level, accessed by bare concrete steps, are two bedrooms, which feature pink-purple and mint green hues. The en suite master bedroom has water-level views of the house’s most dramatic feature – a long, narrow pool, which has an atmospheric, moody feel to it. Elsewhere, there is an integral private double garage with a studio space or guest bedroom above it.
On arrival, Guy Bradshaw of United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, the home’s joint selling agent, says “you cannot help but notice the sheer volume of the space that has been created and the magical experience afforded by the clever use of light. The materials throughout the property are reflective of Sir David Adjaye’s style and concepts – it is a true masterpiece of design.”
On the market for the second time in its history, the Lost House is “one of the most significant domestic projects of recent times” and a “masterclass in spatial design and light”, according to The Modern House, so could it go for more than its asking price?
Klonaris says that while “some buyers see architecture the same art, it all depends on the market”. He adds that its price tag reflects the fact that it’s a seminal work of Adjaye and as well as its location in King’s Cross, “which is one of London’s regeneration success stories.”