Great Britain is an island, and therefore it’s urban real estate, perhaps even more than in other countries, has been built with one overriding concern in mind: how to make the most of the space defined by the nation’s measurements.
To accommodate a growing population density from the 18th century on, London’s urban planners took to designing homes that went up, rather than out, as homes in, say, Canadian or American cities do.
After all, those countries are huge, and have the sheer land mass required to construct homes that are very, very wide. In the U.K., that is a feature many city homes simply don’t have the luxury of enjoying. (Of course estates in the British country are another matter entirely.)
That is not to say, however, that the homes are somehow less valuable than their wider cousins, simply different. And London’s most different – that is to say its most narrow – house is back on the real estate market, listed for almost a cool million pounds.
The home, located in Shepherd’s Bush, is owned by a lawyer who is moving to Europe. Previous owners include the well known 1990s fashion photographer Juergen Teller, and actor Simon Woods and is being sold via www.winkworth.co.uk
Although the house roams up over five floors and has a patio, garden and rooftop terrace, it is, for the most part, only five feet, five inches wide.
At one spot in the dining area , the home widens to nine feet, 11 inches, but for the most part it is extraordinarily narrow, and two people passing in a hallway would have to negotiate that passage with care.
Shepherd’s Bush is a funky London neighbourhood, rife with shops of all kinds, restaurants and hip salons. In fact, there is a medical clinic on one side of the house – which is painted a vibrant, marine blue — and a hair salon on the other, with a diner just two doors down.
Viewed from the street the place is particularly disconcerting; it looks rather like an underfed teenager who’s undergone a recent growth spurt.
It’s tall, skinny, and yet somehow utterly adorable, not an adjective usually applied to a million-pound piece of real estate.
The master bedroom is on the third floor, and it functions like any other, although its double bed has been built into the space, making it almost as wide as the house itself.
Creative touches are everywhere, like the huge mirror in the kitchen area that enhances the feeling of extra space, and a custom built (which is to say narrow) stove unit that’s built into the wall as well.
A spiral staircase beckons upward, and double glass doors off the dining room lead out to a lovingly tended garden.
The current owner compared the house to a classic automobile, and acknowledged that she was “always tinkering with it,” presumably to maximize the space and make it beautiful but functional.
At the time of this writing, no details have been released by sales agent Simon Waller about interested parties or pending bids. It seems likely, however, that the purchaser will be someone single – and certainly not a hoarder.
Selling real estate is a bit trickier in these coronavirus times, and London, like other areas in Britain, is facing new lockdown measures because of an uptick in cases.
That means that agents have to find inventive ways to show houses to potential buyers, although it seems certain that, whomever purchases it, will love the narrowness of this unique structure.
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Like all homes, the right buyer is out there – most probably someone slender, without a lot of baggage, and no fear of tight, or high, spaces.