Once known as London’s Empty Skyscraper, Centre Point has a controversial history. Built in the 1960s, the property remained vacant for many years while owner Harry Hyams sought a single tenant to lease the entire building. The irony of a 34-storey tower remaining empty in a city with a large homeless population did not go unnoticed, and it was briefly occupied by housing activists. The property eventually became the headquarters of the Confederation of British Industry from 1980 until 2014, when a restoration process began to convert Centre Point into private residences.
With its Grade II-listed Brutalist architecture and location at the nexus of Covent Garden, Bloomsbury, Soho and Fitzrovia, it was only a matter of time until Centre Point followed in the path of many of an historic landmark before it, and became a residential building. Developer Almacantar is behind the project, which has seen the property converted into 82 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments crafted by British designer Conran & Partners.
The finest of these is the duplex penthouse, which was recently launched to market. Occupying the entirety of the building’s 33rd and 34th floors, the three-bedroom home spans 7,284 sq ft and includes a bar, dining room, cinema, music room and wine tasting room, along with a study and gym which could be converted into two further bedrooms. Designed to make the most of the vantage point, the property includes a wraparound terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows, offering 360 degree views of the city. The two metre-high Centre Point logo, a fixture of the London skyline since the 1960s, has been redesigned with LED replacements and woven mesh to provide an uninterrupted vista.
Designer Spinocchia Freund is behind the interiors and, taking inspiration from the worlds of art, fashion and music, has ensured that no detail has been spared. Furniture and decor have been hand-selected from art and antiques dealers and local shops, or designed specially for the apartment. There’s a tea set, for example, commissioned to resemble the London skyline, while bespoke fabrics have been designed by the likes of Alice Temperley and Pierre Frey.
To decorate the space, Freund enlisted the help of Patrick Morrey-Burrows, art advisor and founder of Art.Source, to select and commission original artworks. These include Eva Menz’s porcelain interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s love letters, which hangs in the main entrance hall, and two balloons by Danish artist Jeppe Hein. A large-scale artwork by Turner Prize-winner Richard Long sits in the double-height bar area.
Along with the rest of the Centre Point apartments, the penthouse residents will have access to a 30-strong concierge team 24 hours a day, as well as a Club lounge with a dining room, cinema room, gym, spa and 30m infinity pool overlooking Oxford Street. As for the price tag? This property will set you back a cool £55m.