Live in a WWII-Era U.S. Embassy in London for £21.5 Million - Kanebridge News
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Live in a WWII-Era U.S. Embassy in London for £21.5 Million

The three-bedroom, duplex apartment in the notable Mayfair building spans 4,400 square feet

By LIZ LUCKING
Thu, Apr 11, 2024 10:46amGrey Clock 3 min

In the heart of London, a duplex apartment within the city’s former U.S. Embassy, which has been recently transformed into super-prime residences, has hit the market for £21.5 million (US$26.9 million).

The unit, which has been given the presidential moniker of the “Oval Residence,” is within No. 1 Grosvenor Square, and is the last sponsor unit available from developer Lodha UK. The building, on Mayfair’s uber-posh Grosvenor Square, served as the U.S. Embassy from 1938 until 1960, and then as the Canadian High Commission from 1962 until 2013. After being restored brick by brick, quite literally , it reopened as residences in 2022.

 

Some of the prominent figures of the 20th century have passed through its doors, including John F. Kennedy, who called it home when his father was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. in the 1930s, Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt, who was loaned an apartment when she visited London during World War II.

The three-bedroom home spans 4,400 square feet and was designed by Blandine de Navacelle, creative director of Studio Lodha, the developer’s interior design practice.

“No.1 Grosvenor Square is one of the capital’s most iconic addresses, and the design of the Oval Residence needed to reflect this,” de Navacelle said in a news release. “With large, open-plan living spaces and floor to ceiling windows, the residence offered the perfect backdrop for statement artwork and eclectic, sculptural furniture.”

MARK HAZELDINE

The home also boasts a sleek kitchen, a home theatre, a dining area, wood-panelled walls, fireplaces and a 576-square-foot terrace.

“I regularly visit French galleries and furniture ateliers and am drawn to their art-centric approach to design and interiors,” de Navacelle said. “I wanted to bring a touch of this Parisian eclecticism to No.1 Grosvenor Square, creating a sophisticated and elegant private residence that blends both the classic and the contemporary.”

The turn-key flat is being sold with all of its furnishings.

Future occupants will also have access to the building’s amenities, including an in-house concierge team, a private health club and spa, a pool and a cinema.

Grosvenor Square has been one of London’s most-famed addresses for centuries. Currently in the middle of a dramatic remaking, No.1 Grosvenor Square is just one the enclave’s storied buildings to be undergoing, or to have undergone, a complete transformation.

The former U.S. Naval Building at No. 20, has been transformed into the first solely residential project from the Four Seasons, and the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed U.S. Embassy that spans the entire western side of the square, is set to become the Chancery Rosewood hotel by 2025.

London has no shortage of diplomatic buildings that have been transformed into luxury homes. In February, and for the first time in more than a century, the former Italian Embassy, now a lavish mansion, hit the market for £21.5 million . The former Cypriot Embassy, meanwhile, sold in March for £25 million to a buyer seeking a grand family home in the city.



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The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load

By LIZ LUCKING
Wed, May 29, 2024 2 min

A 14th-century villa in the hills overlooking Florence, Italy, has hit the market for €12 million (US$13 million).

Surrounded by cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves, the quintessential Tuscan home was built for the Davanzati family—who were powerful bankers, merchants and patrons during the Italian Renaissance who have a museum named after them in the heart of the city. The villa was one of the family’s multiple country retreats, according to Lionard Luxury Real Estate, which brought the home to the market earlier this month.

Courtesy of Lionard

The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load.

The ballroom has a giant skylight.
Courtesy of Lionard

On the ground floor there are ​​a number of reception rooms and open-air living areas, with many of them boasting antique paintings, tapestries and stately fireplaces made of marble or carved stone.

The most “magnificent” room, according to Lionard, is the winter garden hall, a ballroom with stuccos, loggias and towering vaulted ceilings, illuminated by an Art Nouveau skylight.

On the first floor are multiple double bedrooms and an antique library, and the second floor, while in need of renovation, offers the possibility of creating up to 12 en-suite bedrooms. The villa’s tower has a “delightful sitting room and a rooftop terrace offering a breathtaking view of the city of Florence,” the listing said.

The villa has ivy-covered loggias.
Courtesy of Lionard

The basement, meanwhile, has a cellar with brick vaults that are perfect for wine lovers. An elevator runs between the levels.

Outside, the grounds have well-kept gardens, rolling lawns, a fountain, ancient wells and ivy-covered loggias.

Mansion Global couldn’t determine who is selling the villa, or when they acquired it.

The property is “an oasis of peace,” the listing said, and “one of the most exclusive historical estates on the hills that surround the city of Florence.”