An Explanation of Flat ‘Types’ in Blake Tower

‘Blake Tower’ was built at the same time as the rest of the Barbican Estate in the 1970s. But it was a hostel for the YMCA. Now it has been converted by Redrow, in conjuction with the City, into 74 flats, and renamed Blake Tower.

Redrow have not analysed the flats into groups of flat types. Their brochures simply give an address number to each flat. But many of the flats are the same as each other. So I have invented my own flat ‘types’ so that there is the same general system right across the estate.

I have based my flat types for Blake Tower on the sizes of the flats in square meters (as given by Redrow in their selling brochures). For example, flats numbered 81, 84, 91, 94, 101, 104, 121, 124, 131, and 134 are all the same; and they are 48 square meters in area. So I am calling them Type 48. The advantage of my system over, say, a ‘1, 2, 3 …’ system is that, when you see my flat ‘type’, it instantly tells you something useful – how big the flat is.

The measurements in the brochures are to one decimal place. I didn’t want decimals. So I have rounded the measurements. If the number after the decimal is 5 or higher, I rounded it up; if lower, I rounded it down.

For the most part this has worked fine. But I have had to make some small compromises. For example, there are two flats, both one-bedroom, both on the second floor, and one is 46.5 sq. m. and the other is 46.1 sq. m. I have called the smaller one ‘Type 46’ and the larger one ‘Type 47’. And I have had to round ‘65.8’ down to ’65’ because ’66’ was already occupied. Where I have done that, I am declaring my crime in that flat type’s page, so that flat owners will not feel I am blighting their flat in any way. The occasions are very few. My system does work.

Some of my numbers coincidentally have the same numbers as flat types in use on the Original Barbican Estate. I could have avoided any risk of confusion by putting ‘BT’ in front of the Blake Tower flat types. But that seems like overkill to me, and I honestly can’t imagine that anyone will actually be confused in practice.