Mumbai-born British-Indian artist Sir Anish Kapoor — after a short stint in Israel where he studied electrical engineering, he moved to London in 1973 to study art and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2013 — is known for his elegant and enigmatic, sometimes brightly colored, and often monumentally scaled and abstractly biomorphic sculptures that frequently reflect, distort and re-contextualize the scenery around them.
Now 67 and one of the most influential sculptors of his generation, whose most prized works fetch millions at auction, Kapoor is probably best known in the United States for Chicago’s shimmering and sensually curvaceous “Cloud Gate” (2004), which is more commonly called The Bean due to its unmistakable bean-like shape. Some of his other seminal works include “Sky Mirror” (2006), “Descension” (2014), and the eerie tunnel-like epic “Dirty Corner” (2011) that’s installed in the manicured gardens at the Palace of Versailles, and which has several times been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
The super-size success of the conceptual artist, married for the last handful of years to landscape designer Sophie Walker, allows him to own some spectacular homes around the globe, and his base in Central London, a bespoke mansion that overlooks Lincoln’s Inn Fields in the ancient Holborn district, has now come to market at £19 million, almost US$26 million at today’s rates.
Originally built as two separate residences, the unfussy and mostly unadorned brown brick-buildings were joined in the early 1800s, according to listings held by Nick Verdi of Savills. As reported by Mansion Global, Kapoor purchased the property in 2009 for about £3.6 million, roughly US$5 million at current rates. He soon engaged the acclaimed services of David Chipperfield Architects to convert what was then a down-on-its-heels five-story warren of offices into a substantial, showstopper of a single-family home.
At that time, an elevator was installed in a small addition at the rear of the house, and the top floor living spaces reconfigured to create a roof terrace. Ornate period details were carefully uncovered and preserved to mix freely with a decidedly modern, almost minimalist aesthetic throughout the residence that promo materials tout as “One of the largest homes in Central London.”