From the outside, Lost House in London’s King’s Cross neighborhood lives up to its name: Designed by Ghanaian-British starchitect David Adjaye, it sits in a former delivery yard and can be easily missed by passersby. The industrial façade, concrete accents, and lack of external windows may even put some people off. But those who enter are rewarded with a miracle of spatial design and light. Sunlight enters through three large light wells culminating in a goldfish pond and courtyards filled with banana trees, palm trees, and other flora. Light also bounces off the black resin floors, as well as the mirrors and reflective surfaces set within the walls.
Bold lime coloring in the sunken cinema room adds to the sense of brightness. At the heart of Lost House is a massive 60-foot reception room—encompassing a dining area, kitchen, and living space—that has hosted fashion shows and parties with upwards of 100 guests. The entire area is illuminated by a glass ceiling that opens up to the London sky. “One of the first things people say is, ‘It must be so dark and gloomy,’ explains Guy Bradshaw of Sotheby’s International Realty U.K., which listed the house this month for $8.3 million. “But once you step inside you understand it’s not that way at all. The sheer volume of the ceilings and the glass walls give it so much life and light. It feels like a vast open space.”
The owners, who have been identified as Brian and Jessica Robinson, compare it to “opening a door into a hidden world.” “Some people can see the space as intimidating, but I find it incredibly relaxing and quiet,” they said in a recent interview. “It really does feel a little lost amidst the bustle of the train station and the canal.”
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On the upper level are a guest room and the main bedroom, with a lap pool accessible from the main bath. Work was completed on the 4,000 square-foot property in 2004, and this is the first time it has come on the market in a decade. But it has popped up on U.K. shows like Spooks, Silent Witness, and Lucky Man.
Adjaye, who was knighted in 2017, is one of Britain’s most acclaimed architects, known for designing houses for photographer Juergen Teller and actor Ewan McGregor, as well as the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo and the upcoming Abrahamic Family House interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi.
He’s designed several iconic residences in London, including Mole House, a restored property in Hackney that sits over a network of interconnected tunnels. Lost House reflects Adjaye’s signature style, eschewing ornateness for cool minimalism, natural materials, and earthy tones.
Each bedroom is a different color with matching carpet, and the pool is painted matte black. Despite its appellation, Lost House’s location is also a key asset: King’s Cross train station is on your doorstep, Bradshaw says, “so Paris is just a few hours away.” Though it’s set up as a three-bedroom house, Bradshaw explains how it could easily convert to a two-bedroom with a spacious home office. “With the lifestyle changes we’re all going through now, this house is ideal for live-work balance.” And the neighborhood has also become something of an IT hub, home to numerous startups. Google’s new billion-dollar U.K. headquarters on Pancras Square is less than a five-minute walk away. “You’ve got big busy London outside, but when you’re inside all of that is switched off,” says Bradshaw. “You’re not looking at the city anymore.”