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Home of the Week: This London Penthouse Took 13 Years to Build. Now It Can Be Yours for $55 Million.

After dropping $1.3 billion on the land over a decade ago, the developer has finally unveiled the new neighborhood's first penthouse.

London, Real Estate Chelsea Barracks

Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that, but London’s Chelsea Barracks really took its sweet time. After nearly thirteen years, the development’s first penthouse has finally listed for $55 million.

Located atop the Nine Whistler Square building, the two-story residence’s lofty asking makes it among the city’s priciest penthouses. The 6,144-square-foot interior was designed by Lawson Robb in a modern-meets-Georgian style that mirrors the building’s architecture and that of the surrounding neighborhood. Cabinets and floors are solid oak; marble, finished by Italian stone artisans, is used for the stairwell and the kitchen; and the bronze balustrades on the balcony are bespoke designs inspired by the botanical prints of textile designer William Morris. The six-bed, seven-bath home also has an impressive, 2,907-square-foot, wrap-around terrace, with panoramic views of the city.

Real Estate, London, Chelsea

The living room.  Photography by Alexander James

Accessible via elevator is The Garrison Club, a residents-only common space with private access to a 12,768-square-foot spa, a 16-seat cinema, a 65-foot swimming pool, a game room and a lounge.

Kitchen, Real Estate, London, Chelsea

The kitchen.  Photography by Alexander James

Penthouse living will also put residents smack in the middle of Chelsea Barracks, which sits between the Westminster and Chelsea areas of London. The affluent new neighborhood has seven garden squares worked into its layout, which includes other residential buildings and townhouses aplenty, plus a restored 19th-century chapel.

Real Estate, Chelsea, London

The staircase that connects the duplex.  Photography by Alexander James

So what was the hold up? It turns out to be something of a royal one. Developer Qatari Diar paid $1.3 billion for the 13 acres of Chelsea Barracks land back in 2007, making it the most expensive land sale in the UK. Do the math and that comes out to $97 million per acre, so it follows that the homes, gardens and common areas built there would be carefully thought out. The real wrench in the gears seems to be when Prince Charles saw the original, modernist design plans in 2009, and subsequently wrote Qatar’s prime minister that his “heart sank” upon seeing them. One complicated but thoughtful redesign later, and we have the Chelsea Barracks of today—a modern take, but one that also incorporates historic design elements.

London, Real Estate, Lounge, Chelsea

The Garrison Club lounge.  Photography by Alexander James

Prices for a two bedroom are around $6.8 million, while three bedrooms are listing for $11 million. We’d advise acting sooner rather than later if you’re keen, as 80 percent of the first batch of homes on the market have already been sold.

On the fence? You can check out more photos of the Nine Whistler Square penthouse below.

Office, London, Chelsea Barracks

An office space.  Photography by Alexander James

Chelsea Barracks, London

The dining room.  Photography by Alexander James

Chelsea Barracks, London

The master bath.  Photography by Alexander James

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