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Terence Conran’s Butlers Wharf

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 by

“Britain has such a rich and glorious heritage. And I feel particularly proud to have played a part in renovating and rejuvenating key elements of our industrial past.” Sir Terence Conran

Terence Conran masterminded the restoration and redevelopment of many of London’s most iconic warehouses. The internationally renowned designer contributed an exclusive feature to the launch issue of Warehouse Home, in which he recounted his remarkable vision for the transformation of Butlers Wharf. He shared his passion for giving new life to old Victorian warehouses and referred to them as “beautiful old ladies”.

Terence Conran, the mastermind behind Butlers Wharf's transformation

Terence Conran spoke to our Editor Sophie Bush in an exclusive interview, recounting his vision for the transformation of Butlers Wharf

“The practice of breathing new life into these beautiful old ladies, taking historic buildings and transforming them for new uses, has been one of the constant threads running through my whole career. The very first time I saw Butlers Wharf, I fell in love. I instantly knew that it was a fantastic opportunity. Curiously, I spotted it from the river in the summer of 1981 on a cruise along the Thames for an office party. You have to remember that in those days Butlers Wharf was a pretty desolate area. There was little reason to visit other than for the views of Tower Bridge. But the moment I saw these wonderful derelict warehouses on the south bank of the Thames, the party was over for me. My mind was doing cartwheels over the possibilities, which were just beginning to formulate in my imagination. The next day, I raced over to visit the site. I was overwhelmed and quite smitten by the rough and robust Victorian industrial architecture. The waterfront buildings and the streets behind had been used to grind and store spices and the air was still richly fragrant with their smells.”

Historic black and white photograph of Butlers Wharf delivery carts

Completed in 1873, Butlers Wharf was once the largest warehouse complex on the Thames

“Gutsy and raw Victorian warehouses and factories have now been sensitively and imaginatively converted in most British cities. Many designers are, like myself, attracted to these robustly engineered buildings that truly reflect the energy and entrepreneurialism of the Victorian era.”

Butlers Wharf, pictured following its restoration and redevelopment

Butlers Wharf, pictured following its restoration and redevelopment

“Butlers Wharf has changed beyond belief since I first caught sight of it all those years ago. The regeneration has has spread to other parts of the area and put Southwark on the London map as a destination for Londoners, tourists and businesses alike.”

If you’re captivated by the history of Butlers Wharf and Shad Thames, then you’ll certainly be interested in these spectacular flats!

1. 3 bedroom flat, Butlers Wharf West, Shad Thames, London SE1, £2,800,000

Butlers Wharf flat for sale, with a balcony overlooking Tower Bridge and the Thames!

Amazing view overlooking Tower Bridge and the Thames. Imagine the view at night!

This 2,035 sq ft apartment offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the Thames, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf from its balcony.

Butlers Whard 3 bedroom flat for sale with lots of amazing original features

The 3 bedroom flat has a number of original features; nearly every room has original wooden beams and there are exposed brick walls throughout

The flat comprises three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large open plan reception, where the kitchen occupies its own separate space. The flat oozes heritage, with plenty of original features. The exposed brick walls and wooden beams in the living room (above) are complemented by a beautiful reclaimed parquet floor.

2. 2 bedroom flat, Butlers Wharf Building, Shad Thames, London SE1, £2,750,000

Warehouse conversion flat with private little balcony, perfect spot to overlook the Thames

Private balcony area provides the perfect little spot for overlooking the Thames!

Another apartment, another amazing view! This two bedroom warehouse apartment also boasts a spacious Thames facing balcony with direct views across the City, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. This home, however, has been given a slightly more contemporary treatment, offsetting the original features with bright white.

The warehouse flat's original windows and doors let in lots of natural light, which celebrates the flat's exposed brick walls

Large original warehouse shape windows and doors that let lots of natural light into the warehouse flat’s living area, and complement the exposed brick wall

3. 2 bedroom flat, Butlers Wharf Building, Shad Thames, London SE1, £2,000,000

The flat in warehouse conversion Butlers Wharf has direct access to a stunning roof terrace

The 2 bedroom flat in Butlers Wharf has direct access to a stunning roof terrace

Looking at this tranquil garden, it’s certainly not immediately obvious that it’s sitting above a warehouse conversion! The top floor duplex apartment enjoys views across the Thames to Canary Wharf from this private terrace, and there are even two Juliette balconies from the two double bedrooms on the top floor.

Butlers Wharf's roof terrace has amazing views overlooking the Thames, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf

The roof terrace enjoys amazing views overlooking the Thames, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf

Imagine the view from this roof terrace on a summer’s evening! Pass the wine, please!

4. 2 bedroom flat, Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, London SE1, £1,500,000

Host of beautiful features, including exposed brick walls and rich walnut flooring that adds a modern touch to the warehouse conversion

The property has a host of beautiful features, including exposed brick walls and rich walnut flooring that adds a modern touch to the warehouse conversion

Last, but certainly not least, is this 2 bedroom sub penthouse apartment suite, offering a host of beautiful features. A highlight is certainly the private terrace, which could almost be in Italy or France with its light stone walls swathed in vines.

Butler's Wharf flat for sale with private terrace that's a little suntrap!

The beautiful private terrace is the perfect sun trap for alfresco dining, or for just enjoying a good book!

Which of these 4 Butlers Wharf apartments is your favourite, and why?

And if you enjoyed warehouse home hunting with us, take a look at our Pinterest board dedicated to dream homes!

Follow My Warehouse Home’s board Dream Warehouse Conversions on Pinterest.

Take a look at Terence Conran’s full article in our Launch Issue. Read it here or use the reader below:


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