By Troy Tomasik

Exactly 90 years ago, modernist visionaries Jack and Molly Pritchard were busy overseeing the construction of their famed Isokon Flats, the first modernist block of apartments in Britain which answered the Bauhaus question “how do we want to live” by pioneering the idea of minimalist, stylish, and communal city living.

In the optimistic search for how to live better, the modernist call recognised the demand from young professionals and creatives for attainable, communal and well-designed inner-city apartments. The Isokon’s design philosophy, with harmonious shared living at its heart, has demonstrated the lasting appeal of buildings that prioritise these principals.

Fast-forward to 2023, and the rapidly maturing BTR market in the UK should reflect on these solid modernist foundations which have largely been lost through the years. As renters’ needs continue to evolve, the vast majority of the UK’s aging housing stock features buildings with either zero or very limited amenities that do not even attempt to address their requirements. This mismatch of housing that is too void, too disparate, and too isolated for a modern urban lifestyle restricts human potential and needs to be re-examined.

We are reviving the modernist ideal to pursue a concept we call “effortless living”. Our pursuit of delivering effortless living focuses on freeing residents from the burdens of domestic life by adding conveniences and services to efficient and highly-liveable flats. Central to this evolved design philosophy is how amenities should be curated to minimise the daily friction points of urban living. By removing the trivial stresses of household management or offering productivity boosting amenities, residents can enjoy a higher quality of life, which in turn increases their attachment to the property. This notion of effortless living is not only a significant draw for potential tenants but also a key factor in achieving resident satisfaction and boosting tenant retention.

Our newest development, Enclave: Croydon, represents the latest step in over 100 years of experimentation to answer the question “how best to live”. As a spiritual successor to the Isokon Flats, the development incorporates over 30,000 sq ft of amenity spaces across seven dedicated floors of the 50-storey building with 817 apartments; ushering in the next generation of "modernist communal living". The amenity offering is vast and unparalleled, with residents enjoying an array of carefully-curated spaces, from the expected cinema and co-working spaces, to the unexpected professional gym, spa with sauna and steam room, professional cooking facilities, podcast studios, green-screen facilities, sky library and rooftop gardens.

Amenity spaces such as these elevate a property’s appeal and support a competitive edge in a crowded market, thus becoming a major draw for tenants seeking an enhanced rental experience. Amenity offerings are more than perks—they are a critical component of the value proposition to residents. They ensure individual assets remain relevant and competitive, enhancing tenant’s well-being, productivity and social spheres.

Effortless living also applies to property management. Automated systems for virtual tours, online leasing, package delivery, guest management, and maintenance requests enhance the efficiency of a property’s operations. This level of operational sophistication a tech-savvy demographic, and ultimately serves as a point of differentiation. Our approach also includes providing digital concierge services and smart home features, all designed to streamline and simplify the day-to-day experience of residents.

Ultimately, to help unlock the maximum potential of residents, we need to craft habitats that resonate with contemporary urban life. Each amenity and flat we deliver is thoughtfully designed to enhance the lives of residents, responding to their needs for convenience, connection, productivity and a balanced lifestyle. The quality of these spaces serves multiple purposes. They are pivotal in attracting and retaining tenants, acting as a differentiator in an increasingly competitive market. In a world where young and old professionals can work from anywhere, they choose to live in environments that offer more than just a bed and a kitchen, and the inclusion of rich amenity spaces equates to an in investment in their own life.

New BTR developments, which deliver this effortless living, become stronger than the sum of their parts, promising residents not just a home, but a lifestyle enhancing environment that can deliver more time, connection, and freedom of mind. A pursuit well worth the investment.