Would you pay Dh107 million for this minimalist property masterpiece? – in pictures

For those with a love of sleek, minimalist designs, Number Five Cannon Lane in Hampstead is a dream prospect.

The 8,000 sq ft home, which is just a few miles north-west of central London, has been designed to exacting detail by Claudio Silvestrin — an architect and interior designer who has been described as a “master of minimalism”.

Mr Silvestrin is an Italian who set up a practice in London 27 years ago. He has designed buildings and interiors for art galleries, museums, restaurants and private clients, including the musician Kanye West. Mr Silvestrin designed the Oblix Restaurant at The Shard, and has worked with Giorgio Armani, Anish Kapoor, Calvin Klein and Victoria Miro.

For this project, he was employed by the developer Astwood to create designs for a home that has taken nine years of planning, design and construction.

The property, which is on the market for £22.5 million (Dh107.6m), has been designed on an inclining site over five levels, in a way that still offers privacy despite the use of floor-to-ceiling glass throughout.

The basement level has a 17.7 metre-long swimming pool, a sauna and steam room, a gym, a treatment area, a staff bedroom, and a utility and plant room, with sub-basement level storage.

The lower ground floor contains a large reception room, a cinema, a kitchen-cum-breakfast room with a pantry and cold store, and a car lift underneath the two-car garage.

The ground floor features the house’s main reception room running the full width of the property. It has stone-clad walls, giving the appearance of an art gallery. It also has the garage, a balcony and a terrace leading to a garden designed by the Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist gardener Chris Beardshaw, with a hidden storage area.

The first floor contains four of the house’s five main bedrooms, including a principal bedroom with major bathroom and two large balconies, while the top floor has the fifth bedroom and a roof terrace area offering views over Hampstead Heath, overlooking the City of London beyond it.

There is a lift connecting the reception and living floors, and a central spiral staircase rising from the lower ground to the top floor.

Developer Astwood said that its aim for the site had been to deliver a “timeless” property — one that keeps its sense of style whatever the latest trend may be. It said that Five Cannon Lane “expresses clearly Claudio’s philosophy that sophisticated simplicity can be achieved through perfect lines, natural materials and quality of light”.

The property is on the market with the brokers Savills and TK International.


So what does this house actually look and feel like?

We’ll leave that description to the architect himself. Mr Silvestrin said that “the feeling of Five Cannon Lane is one of calm and serenity; it’s almost a meditative space”. Further, “To achieve this simplicity, technology is mostly hidden and there is no ornamentation of any kind … However, there is drama — the 42-step stone staircase that leads down to the pool and spa recalls an ancient site, for example”.

Any other features worth mentioning?

As well as the rough-hewn stone used on walls and staircases, the materials used are of high quality, such as natural oak and white Italian porphyry stone.

There is also an oxidised bronze water feature and bar island, and designer lighting ranges from the Italian company Viabizzuno. The sanitary ware has been designed by Mr Silvestrin himself, and there is a sophisticated lighting control system as well as underfloor heating and air conditioning throughout.

Who would live in a house like this?

It’s the sort of place that would appeal to all. Hampstead has been home to everyone from the romantic-era poets such as Keats and Shelley to pop stars such as Liam Gallagher and George Michael. There’s a good reason for this. It provides an extremely pleasant living environment, with 320 hectares of green space available just 30 metres away on Hampstead Heath and great views over the City of London, which is just a few miles away. The area is good for children, although whether or not the architect would appreciate the spills, clutters, toys and sticky finger marks that go hand-in-hand with bringing up young kids at his creation is not something that one likes to ask.


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