<< Back to Robb Report, March 2014

Show & Tell

  • Samantha Brooks

Despite its conspicuous 2-acre site overlooking both Hyde Park and Knightsbridge in the heart of London, One Hyde Park has remained a mystery ever since construction was completed in 2011. The Richard Rogers–designed steel-and-glass building claims 86 units, some of which set world records when they sold for £7,500 per square foot ($12,000 or more). Still, what lies beyond its triple-glazed windows—which tower serenely above the neighborhood’s predominantly Victorian rooftops—has remained scrupulously shielded from the prying eyes of the curious, including the press. Only now are the doors of what has been described as the world’s most exclusive and enigmatic address thrown open to Robb Report readers, as we begin this year’s Ultimate Home tour.

Foyer | Hallway: Best-Laid Plans

One of the four-pavilion building’s most impressive units, this 18,000-square-foot penthouse—which occupies the 10th and 11th floors—is owned by an international businessman and his wife, who commissioned Candy & Candy to design the interiors. The firm owned by Nick Candy was involved in creating One Hyde Park’s public spaces as well as a handful of other units within the structure, which was developed jointly by Nick’s brother Christian Candy’s CPC Group and Waterknights, a private company belonging to a former prime minister of Qatar.

“When the homeowners came to us, the unit was entirely raw space, an empty box, with views over Royal Park and Knightsbridge,” says Richard Share, Candy & Candy’s global projects director. “Nothing can ever be built in front of it, and it has all of the amenities and services from the neighboring Mandarin Oriental hotel [including 24-hour room service, housekeeping, valet, and a hotel-trained staff of 80 on-site 24 hours a day], which is something that has never existed before in London. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind residence and the ultimate acquisition for the homeowners.”

What the couple acquired, however, was in effect the ultimate blank canvas. Devising a plan for the interiors proved a considerable task. To facilitate that process, Share used masking tape to outline the various spaces on the floor, enabling the owners to physically walk through his plan. “The homeowners knew they wanted to see both the city and park at the same time,” he says. Thus, as guests enter the foyer (first spread, right), they encounter sweeping views of bustling Knightsbridge on the right and, to the left, verdant vistas of Hyde Park, along with a polished-nickel staircase created in Denmark; a hand-polished floor from Carrara, Italy, made of Rhino White and Noir Saint Laurent marble; Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Prodigal Son; and a double-height, 20-foot-tall Swarovski crystal chandelier made with 4-inch-by-1.5-inch crystals (the largest the company makes). A 165-foot-long hallway (previous pages, left), which transects the residence’s lower level, features Tunnel View Down Under, an installation by Hans Kotter. A variety of rooms open off of this passageway, including the kitchen, dining room, media room, guest bedroom, and offices for both owners. At the Knightsbridge end of the corridor, Share placed an informal game room with a billiard table, a bar, and a drum set from Odery covered in Swarovski crystals, while at the other end, the formal living area—whose two-sided fireplace (previous pages, right) frames the hallway in the distance—looks out to Hyde Park.

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