While period London townhouses are often bursting with vintage charm, they also come with some downsides for modern living. They’re usually tall and skinny, which was fine in the days when they were staffed by five housemaids to do the grunt work, but not so great when you’re schlepping your own groceries and laundry. Some of them have been retrofitted with elevators, but even those rarely have a lift to service each floor. Roof terraces are hit or miss, and you can pretty much forget about on-site parking, let alone the kind of new-fangled wellness features — a gym and pool, say — that so many high-end buyers want nowadays.
This brand-new townhouse, in the new Chelsea Barracks development, delivers on all these points plus more. Best of all, the development is in the SW1 postcode, which is London’s toniest. The townhouse is offered as a fully furnished, turn-key opportunity. But brace yourself for the price: $52 million.
As the name suggests, Chelsea Barracks was a former army barracks in the City of Westminster, at the southern tip of the high-brow Belgravia nabe. Originally completed in 1862 to house two battalions, the only vestige of the complex’s past life is the renovated Garrison Chapel. The real estate investment company Qatari Diar bought Chelsea Barracks in 2007 for what was then about $1.2 billion. They quickly set to work on a redevelopment scheme, and now apartments and townhouses are arranged around seven garden squares.
The townhouse, about 33 feet wide, measures almost 11,500 square feet, with ample public rooms as broad as they are deep. There are two elevators to service its six floors, one for family and guests and one for service. There are five bedrooms and five bathrooms, along with a bevy of plush amenities such as a home theater, a wine room, and what may be the largest private spa in London. A gym, a sauna and steam room give way to a 37-foot lap pool encased in a serene, minimalist space. (For reference, the pool at the hoity-toity Claridge’s Hotel is only 26 feet long. Suck it, Claridge’s!)
The interiors were designed by Albion Nord to respect the heritage of the area while making concessions to modern living. Deep, saturated color was employed on many of the walls, while vintage posters and antique furniture complement one another and the contemporary art.
And how about the parking, always a giant headache in central London? Yep. Secured and subterranean! Roof terrace? Check. It’s landscaped with fabulous views that include the London Eye and the Shard. A bonus is the rear garden, complete with an outdoor kitchen.
And finally, the townhouse benefits from the three most important elements of real estate: location, location, location. Belgravia is chockablock with fabulous restaurants and cute boutiques, antiques shops, art galleries, and more. Further, some of the best schools in Britain are a stone’s throw away.
All in all, it makes for an idyllic and self-contained lifestyle in the go-go heart of London. Interested in your own footprint inside Chelsea Barracks? Contact Richard Oakes at Qatari Diar.