Hoover Building, Perivale UB6
Converted Grade II* listed Art Deco factory building
Architect: Wallis, Gilbert and Partners
Year built: 1933-1938
Despite not being a particular fan of Art Deco and having no particular desire to relocate to Perivale, West London, I was sufficiently convinced by the slick marketing materials for flats in the converted Gilbert and Partners-designed Hoover Building to trek across London to attend the open day.
The Hoover building was built for the Hoover Company in 1933 and was used as a factory until the 1980s at which point it was sold on (though thankfully not before receiving a Grade II* listing), some of it to Tesco, which explains why there’s an unusually Art Deco-styled Tesco superstore and car park to the rear of the site.
Come 2017, IDM bought up the front section of the main building to convert into “luxury” flats with the intention of salvaging and reusing as many of the original Art Deco features as possible throughout the building in order to retain the ‘full glory of the stunning architectural treasure’ (to quote the marketing materials).
The redevelopment was only partially complete on the open day. While the location of the building wasn’t fantastic (busy road; not much else nearby), the exterior of the building was a striking Art Deco fortress of white walls and green-framed Crittall windows – as were the communal areas and rather dramatic staircases.
The flats themselves were a mixed bag. One of the main problems that I usually have with conversions of any kind is the tendency for them to have irregular floorplans, oddly placed/sized windows and weirdly proportioned rooms. The first flat featured all of these pet peeves: it had two bedrooms (one with a high window which looked out onto nothing and so had been fitted with an frosted pane) and an irregularly shaped open plan living area with yet more completely frosted windows and a random raised area (probably housing some pipes or something) by an actual window which looked out onto that busy road.
The second flat was much more attractive but this too had a strange layout. Upon entering, you ascended a flight of stairs to a landing area which led to one of the bedrooms, the bathroom and the living room (which opened out onto a generously sized terrace).
The second bedroom was accessed via a rather flimsy-looking spiral staircase in the middle of the landing area. This bedroom had its own ensuite and a second terrace which could only be accessed by crawling through a waist-height window. This particular flat had been dressed to the nines in a sort of old Hollywood Art Deco style which gave me American Horror Story: Hotel vibes – probably not the intended effect.
The flats were reasonably affordable but all of the ones with decent floorplans had already been reserved off plan (including all of the ones resembling the second show flat) leaving windowless dregs like the first show flat. As such, a move to Perivale is not on the cards.