London Institution Reinvented


Alchemi Group, together with Far East Orchard Limited, has announced the much-anticipated launch of sales at London’s Westminster Fire Station. Abode2 takes a tour

Originally constructed in the early 20th century for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the former Grade II listed station has been thoughtfully reimagined as a collection of 17 charming and unique apartments, each of which embodies the overarching vision of the development to marry the old with the new. This first phase sees the launch of nine fully complete residences ranging from 421 square feet to 1,490 square feet.

Built in 1906 and retired in 2014, the striking Baroque building presided over many defining moments in the history of the fire brigade, including the end of horse-drawn engines in 1921, the admission of women during WWII and the first female firefighter in 1982. The station’s crew was also responsible for saving Westminster Abbey from near destruction during a bombing raid in 1940.

Under its new guise, Westminster Fire Station now encompasses two seamlessly connected buildings; the traditional ‘Fire Station’, which houses six apartments, and a new residential building known as ‘Station House’, comprising 11 apartments. The Station House’s exterior, with its rows of custom-made iridescent glazed bricks, is a modern interpretation of its older sibling’s Edwardian Portland stone architectural detailing, with bespoke brass screens inspired by the traditional cast iron features, adorning the rear façade.

Leading the architecture at Westminster Fire Station is Jennifer Beningfield and her all-female practice, Openstudio Architects; whilst the joyful and eclectic interiors are the work of Laura Marino, Creative Director and Co-Founder at Alchemi Group and Founder of interior design studio, Studio L, London. Together, Jennifer and Laura focused on marrying the old with the new and retained and worked with various iconic fire station features such as the exposed steel beams, original glazed brick tiles and the three original carriage doors, one of which now serves as the residents’ entrance.

Each one, two and three-bedroom apartment is individual in its layout and features customised design elements unique to the development such as bespoke kitchen cabinetry and ironmongery. The bathrooms and en-suites are clad in various marbles and all have antique gold ironmongery from Lefroy Brooks. The herringbone pattern seen throughout the development and used in the wood flooring and ceramic tiles in the apartment is a nod to the old fire station’s quintessential characteristics.

The three completed show homes at the development each have their own ‘soul’ and ambience thanks to Studio L, London’s highly imaginative interiors. Taking inspiration from the worlds of music, art, fashion, film and photography, Laura incorporates diverse pattern, colour palettes and materiality into her designs, creating many custom pieces as well as sourcing contemporary, antique and vintage pieces to create a fresh and memorable aesthetic.

Connecting ‘Station House’ to the ‘Fire Station’ is an urban green oasis; an interconnecting residents’ courtyard designed by garden specialist James Lee Design. The courtyard has been cleverly converted from its previous incarnation as the turning circle for the engine bays and stables for horses.

Charlie Baxter, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Alchemi Group, comments, “We are delighted to be working alongside Far East Orchard Limited to give Westminster Fire Station a new sense of purpose. Our joint vision to deliver a beautiful boutique residential project that respects the history of the building, retains and enhances its character, and reduces its environmental impact was our aim. I am proud this has been realised and look forward to welcoming future owners into the building with our contemporary interpretation of history.”

The environmental impact of the building has been at the forefront of the developer’s minds throughout, with the project significantly exceeding its carbon reduction target through innovative thermal upgrades, the introduction of solar panels and a biodiverse green roof. Residents will also be offered bicycle storage and complementary 10-year Zip Car membership.

Westminster Fire Station is situated in the heart of London’s bustling Victoria neighbourhood and is a wonderful addition to the regeneration of the area. The definition of a ‘15 minute city’, the cafes and restaurants of Nova, theatres and nightlife of Apollo, boutiques of neighbouring Belgravia and royal park of St James’s are all within walking distance. Homeowners also have fine dining on their doorstep in the form of Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar’s new restaurant ‘Mathura’, housed in the fire station’s former ground floor Engine Room. The restaurant features the original fireman’s pole and Watch Room, which has been transformed into an elegant private dining area.

Apartments in Phase 1 at Westminster Fire Station start from £895,000.


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