Work is under way on what promises to be the most expensive house in London –— after Buckingham Palace. 36-38 Queen Anne’s Gate, a seven-storey building overlooking St James’s Park, is expected to be worth £120 million when work on converting it from offices is complete.
Bought for £50 million by a Middle Eastern royal family as a shell — with no interior walls, stairs or original architectural features, it is now being turned into 33,863sq ft of living space plus a double height basement complex including a swimming pool and underground car park. The house could easily contain 279 standard one-bedroom flats.
Noel de Keyser, a director of Savills, said the chateau-style building would make a perfect house. “It is detached, it is strangely not listed, it is set within gardens, and it will have some very impressive rooms,” he said.
The company declined to comment about the project to restore the building, which was originally built between 1908 and 1910 as headquarters of the Anglo American Oil Company by the same architect who built the Adelphi Theatre, Ernest Runtz.
But de Keyser pointed out that super wealthy families travel with large entourages of domestic staff, assistants and security operatives. “London is a fashionable place to have a home - it is seen as a very safe haven in turbulent times,” he said.
The project is the latest in a string of cavernous super-homes being created in central London to satisfy the demands of the world’s richest men and women. The Qatari royal family is currently putting the finishing touches to a £117.4 million house in Park Lane, while 27,000sq ft Heath Hall in the Bishops Avenue, Hampstead, is on the market for offers in excess of £100 million.