18 – 19 Kensington Palace Gardens
Sir David is not only passionate about his art collections. He had long cherished a dream of creating, in the heart of London, a great building that would be a worthy contribution to the heritage of the country in which he had chosen to make his home.
During the 1990s his property company, Favermead Ltd. acquired the leases of two adjacent derelict buildings (former embassies) in Kensington Palace Gardens and obtained unprecedented planning permission from Crown Estate, English Heritage and The Victorian Society to convert them into one.
At a cost of over £90 million the project, simply known as 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens, turned into a restoration project second only in scale, in Britain, to that of Windsor Castle after the disastrous fire of 1992. Sir David‘s objective was to return the buildings back to their original splendour and by using the original drawings made in 1845 by Sir Charles Barry (architect of the Palace of Westminster) the historic character of the building was preserved.
Under the guidance of English Heritage, and working to the strict guidelines of The Crown Estate, all the original features and decorations were carefully restored. For example, all 40 Adam fireplaces were taken away and restored but one had been so badly damaged it was beyond repair. After a year-long search it was replaced with one of the same period and style, which had been discovered in an architectural salvage yard in London.
The project took five years to complete and employed more than 400 workers and craftsmen per day. By treating the property like a valued object in his collection, Sir David created one of the finest and most aesthetically stunning palaces in Europe.
It is now home to the Mittal family.
- The Houses used to be owned by The Rothschilds and Reuters families
- The two houses which were Built by Sir Charles Barry, were unified and a single entrance was created
- The House comprised around 55,000sq. feet (over 5000 Sq. meter)
- Extensive research was carried out to see what the houses looked like when Sir Charles Barry built them
- Marble paradise of 3,000 sq metres. Much of the marble is from the same source that was used to build the Taj Mahal.
- Semi precious stone used restoration from Italy, Spain, Portugal and India.
- The Project cost was over £90 million and took 5 years to complete.
- Restoration project second only in scale, in Britain, to that of Windsor Castle after the disastrous fire of 1992.
- 400 – 500 tradesman and craftsman work on the house per day.
- The building can provide a reception for up to 1,000 people and seated dinner for 250.
- Space for more than 20 cars in the basement.
- There is a hairdressing salon, Indoor swimming pool, spa, steam showers and saunas.