Any Ghostbusters fan will have daydreamed about having their office in a fire station complete with pole for the ultimate quick getaway. However, thanks to a government drive to offload public buildings for housing development, Londoners will soon have the chance to live in one.
Ten of the capital’s stations have been put on the market for redevelopment alongside New Scotland Yard and former ministry buildings. Closing the stations, including London’s oldest in Clerkenwell which opened over 140 years ago, sparked an emotional response from resident firemen and their supporters at the beginning of this year. A campaign to save the buildings from a luxury flat makeover has been launched but I fear the writing is on the wall. Although I would rather see the stations remain open, I can’t help but get excited about the prospect of living in some of London’s, wait for it, ‘hottest’ properties.
With locations including the former Basil Street fire station in Knightsbridge and Greycoat Place in the shadows of Victoria, it won’t be long until people are buying off-plan. I only hope the spirit of the stations are not stripped in favour of ‘seen it, done it’ interiors. With such as wealth of history to draw from there is a lot of fun to be had with these spaces and please, please keep the poles.
Image shows a contemporary Belgian apartment complete with fireman’s pole by Vanden Eeckhoudt-Creyf Architects.