There’s a glitzy secret behind the staid Tudor Revival exterior of this terraced house in London’s natty Knightsbridge: a tubular glass elevator. A masterpiece of engineering, the lift is the tallest self-supporting annealed glass structure in the world. It goes through eight levels of the house, from a sub-basement all the way up to the roof terrace, and took two years to design and construct. The roof terrace is accessed when the elevator, which also rather cleverly acts as a light well through all eight stories, rises up through a circular retractable glass roof that spirals opens with the touch of a button.
The rest of the house is pretty nice as well! Formerly flats, the 19th-century structure was recently turned back into a single-family house. The 7,535 square feet of space was effected through the popular (and pricey) London home improvement trend of digging out a basement, or in this case two basements. With six or seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms, the property is available for a scorching $30 million. (All those glass elevator bragging rights aren’t free.)
Location is perfect: right in the middle of fashionable Knightsbridge, close to Harrods, museums, shopping, the London Underground, and Hyde Park. The listing notes, too, that “The current owners have access to two local garden squares: Hans Place Gardens and Cadogan Place Gardens.” That is, private garden squares that are locked to keep the hoi polloi out.
The owners have taken an updated Art Deco approach to the decoration, which works, although the house was built in the 1890s. Elegant glass light fixtures act as focal points in many of the rooms, particularly in the dining room, while the family kitchen sports marble counters and most of the bathrooms feature marble as well. There is a second kitchen in the staff accommodation. The listing notes that the house also offers a rear entrance for use of staff or high-profile visitors. (“Elton! David! How lovely to see you!”) This is notable because most terraced houses, what we might call a rowhouse or a townhouse in the United States, are typically difficult to enter from the rear.
Other nice features: a sauna, gym, and wine cellar in the basement, along with two “plant rooms,” for all the household mechanical equipment. There’s also a bar off the living room, a fourth-floor study, a media room in the basement, and tucked way down in the sub-basement, five floors below the homeowner’s suite, a lavishly fitted dressing room. That’s where the elevator comes in, folks!
Interested? Get on the phone to Jonathan Arron at his eponymous brokerage. And give our best to Elton.