Former public buildings offer unique opportunities to live in grand and interesting spaces. Here we've pulled together ten of the most mesmerising and jaw-dropping homes, all of which sit within historical converted properties.
1. Converted hospital, London
A former Victorian hospital has been transformed into a modern, expansive family home in London.
The large open spaces of the original structure provided the perfect backdrop for the family's large contemporary art collection....
This central London family home boasts lofty proportions – thanks to it being a former Victorian hospital – the perfect backdrop for the family's art collection, a stunning home cinema and a cavernous basement with games room, swimming pool and hot tub.
At the heart of the property is helical staircase, which cleverly incorporates a glass slide between levels, for a fun way down.
View more of the property here...
2. Historic Chapel in Gloucestershire
An empty, abandoned and derelict 1703 chapel is now resurrected as a sculptor’s home, studio and workshop.
Set in the pretty market town of Wotton-under-Edge in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, the historic chapel – Nonconformist (later Methodist) and architecturally Victorianised – has been completely transformed and given a new lease of life, thanks to its new owner Hal Messel, a renowned silversmith and artist.
Architects skilfully transformed the cavernous building into a logical and cosy space while preserving the magic of the chapel and the impressive ceiling height.
The interiors are strikingly eclectic, showcasing a mix of vintage pieces, family heirlooms, taxidermy, paintings and his own pieces, all set against a powder blue colour backdrop.
3. Former brewery cooperage
This spacious four/five-bedroom award winning home was the recipient of a RIBA Prize in 2017.
Situated on a gated, cobbled mews in the Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area, the property was built in the early 1900s, originally for use as a brewery cooperage.
Spanning five levels, including a generous roof terrace it approaches 4,000 sq ft of living space.
Combining concrete, black steel and exposed brickwork the architects have created a breath-taking abode that is versatile, warm and totally charming.
A self-watering living wall rises two storeys above the dining area with exposed red brick extending beyond that in the living room.
4. Converted factory, Copenhagen
A former water pumping station dating to 1902 has been completely transformed into one large open-plan, double-height space, with a modern staircase clad in aluminium that leads to a mezzanine floor overlooking the cavernous space below.
The former power plant was in ruins and had been sitting dormant for some years, until VIPP appointed Danish architecture firm Studio David Thulstrup to transform the property.
The heritage building, initially built as a water pumping station with a towering chimney in 1902, is reborn from ruins and has been fully restored, renovated and transformed into a contemporary living space while retaining the charm of the architectural shell.
Existing arched windows were extended to ground level and turned into steel framed glass doors.
5. Converted church, north London
This four-bedroom, three-storey flat sits in a converted church in north London that dates back to the 1890s.
The hulking Victorian church had been converted into 11 apartments in 2000, and although the chosen flat’s expansive ceilings and original features (such as two mammoth stone pillars in the kitchen) provided striking details, the use of dark wood and new orange bricks in the lower section of the walls created a depressing vibe.
It's now had a major refurbishment and a new interior courtesy of interior designer Mark Lewis.
Mark suggested toning down the orange brick and losing the modern radiators and chestnut-coloured doors.
The clever conversion melds magnificent original features with practical family living.
6. Converted sorting office, west London
This early 20th-century sorting office in west London has been converted into a light and spacious modern home.
The property had previously been a sorting office, then a theatre, so it had an industrial feel that could be used to the architect's advantage.
High ceilings, exposed beams and brickwork, tall windows, Crittall details and exposed ducts add to the property's industrial feel.
7. Converted timber garage, London
A former garage used for wood storage has been transformed into a modern family home. The architects were faced with many restrictions due to regulations and party wall agreements, but their creative approach not only created a stunning home, it won a prestigious award too.
As the site neighbours 21 other properties (and has 21 party wall agreements in place) it couldn't have any windows on its outer walls, so the architects found a creative solution and gave the property three courtyards instead, filling it with light.
As they couldn't build up due to regulations stipulating a vertical limit to the height of the property, they dug a basement instead which receives natural light from light-well courtyards. Architects De Rosee Sa completely transformed the site, building a modern family home in its place.
The architects did an absolutely tremendous job, not only creating a beautiful home (the owners loved it so much that they sold their original house and moved here instead) but snapping up the New London Architecture 2017 Homes Award in the process too.
8. cConverted church, Kensal Green
A converted church in Kensal Green features colourful and grand interiors.
The four-bedroom home has over 6000ft of living space, and boasts a breathtaking central hall that opens onto an enclosed courtyard garden.
Grandeur is the word to describe the overall look, with the building's ecclesiastical past being celebrated in the retention of original features like internal arches and stained glass windows.
A conical-roofed turret serves as the entrance hall and, within it, a bespoke bronze staircase spirals up to a galleried study space overlooking the living expanse below.
9. A converted farmhouse, Tuscany
This old farmhouse was discovered by its current owners in 2005, when it was in complete disrepair. The new owners spent a year finding the right architect to transform its interior into something captivating. The renovation took four years, and the result is a striking holiday home with a contemporary interior wrapped in rustic architecture.
The open-plan kitchen and dining area features a modern kitchen island, a long dining table surrounded by Verner Panton's iconic S chairs, and a striking mezzanine corridor that penetrates this double-height space, offering views down to the kitchen, while also adding this modern contrast to the original stone walls.
Outside, there's a raised infinity pool with panoramic views.
10. Converted shipyard, Lake Como
A converted shipyard dating back to 1921 has been recently renovated and transformed into a luxurious loft style villa.
Sitting on the edge of Lake Como, the expansive bachelor pad wouldn’t look out of place in the latest Bond film.
Spanning 2,150 square meters, the villa has lift access to all floors, and comes with a billiard room, fully equipped gym, home cinema, home bar, a swimming pool, its own pier and exclusive beach.