Camden was a destination for creatives long before Clerkenwell and Shoreditch arrived as fashionable addresses. Since the Sixties, architects and media companies have been targeting the area’s canalside buildings and its cobbled courtyards and mews.
But, after a few years out of the spotlight, Camden is on the up again, partly due to a backlash against the over-corporate atmosphere of the City fringe. “It’s incredibly diverse — everyone from pop stars and rich lawyers to destitute writers and drop-outs live there,” says Matt Cobb, director of Hatton Real Estate.
The developer has unveiled The Anello Building, a new scheme of 22 loft apartments in a Fifties factory, named after the famous firm of theatrical shoemakers once based there. Anello & Davide has been making shoes for a century and still makes footwear for dancers and ballerinas in Covent Garden. Its past creations include stilettos for Marilyn Monroe, suede brogues for actor David Niven and the famous Beatle boots for a certain Fab Four.
Its former factory is flanked by a pair of elegant stairwell towers with sleek columns of glass, and the exterior shines with the huge metal-frame windows that are so reminiscent of the era. Prices from £625,000. Call 020 7101 2020.
There is a wider development plan for the creation of Camden Lock Village, which will include 170 flats and a covered market with rooftop pavilions linked by walkways.
The local council has also agreed an overhaul of Camden High Street, which is depressingly shabby in some parts, while overcrowded Camden Town Tube is to get a major upgrade.