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By Maile Pingel | Photo: Grid House photo by Rafaela Netto; Bubble Palace photo by Michael Zingraf/Christie’s International Real Estate | February 11, 2016
An architect, an interior designer or a homeowner with a deft hand and a willingness to defy convention is essential to the success of a design-driven home. Here, five new-to-market properties showcase the work of true visionaries.
THE BUZZ Built by 19th century architect John Nash, the original designer of Buckingham Palace, Carlton House Terrace sits in the heart of the St. James neighborhood. The newly and lavishly renovated penthouse offers city views of such landmarks as St. James Park, The Mall, Big Ben and the London Eye. While the building retains its classic Regency style, the home’s interiors are thoroughly modern. The residence has a private street entrance with a concierge desk and 24-hour security—an entrance that is at once opulent and discrete. Accessed by private elevator, the foyer to the two-story home opens onto three expansive reception rooms finished throughout with custom materials. The 9,268-square-foot four-bedroom, five-bathroom residence also boasts two designer kitchens, staff quarters and three parking spaces. There is an additional 2,300-square-foot unfinished ground-floor space linked directly to the penthouse, ideal for a gym or additional staff quarters.
DETAILS $53,054,419, United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, 126.96.36.199.12.40
São Francisco Xavier, Brazil
THE BUZZ Built by Forte, Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz Arquitetos of São Paulo, this sleek modular Grid House is comprised of raised pavilions that make the most of the dramatic 41-acre setting—a protected landscape. The pavilions connect via bridges and pathways that allow for greater interaction with the natural environment. The expansive central structure houses the main living spaces, the master suite and a guest room, while connected modules offer an additional six bedrooms. Three pavilions located slightly lower on the property include a garage, storage space and staff quarters. Sustainably designed and built, Grid House (which you might not guess is 33,615 square feet in size) fuses its indoor and outdoor spaces—trees grow right up through the open modules. To help counter deforestation that had occurred in the area years ago, landscape designers CAP Consultoria Ambiental Paisagística reintroduced native species and fruit trees that have brought birds and local Muriqui monkeys back to the area.
DETAILS $11,500,000, Christie’s International Real Estate, 188.8.131.52.36.00
THE BUZZ Since 1989, the famed Bubble Palace has been a secondary home for Italian-born French couturier Pierre Cardin. The singular residence, inspired by cave dwellings, was designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag and begun in 1979. Perched on a mountainside just 7 miles from Cannes, the nearly 13,000-square-foot home overlooks the Mediterranean and boasts myriad undulating public rooms and 10 bedrooms (all with built-in furnishings), as well as lavish grounds with three pools and an outdoor amphitheater. The home has been the scene of countless elaborate parties and most recently hosted Dior’s 2016 resortwear fashion show.
DETAILS Price upon request (we hear it’s in the realm of $455 million), Christie’s International Real Estate, 33.04.93.39.77.77
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
THE BUZZ Created by French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, renowned for projects like The Savoy hotel in London and the Four Seasons George V in Paris, this 32,398-square-foot residence in the Emirates Hills neighborhood is the ultimate in luxury. The villa features eight bedrooms (an entire private wing with four terraces is devoted to the incomparable master suite); 10 bathrooms; expansive reception rooms; a chef’s kitchen; a guest suite; an outdoor pool; manicured gardens; and an indoor spa replete with a second pool, a steam room, a sauna bath, and a massage and yoga room. The home, which sits on .718 acres and overlooks the Montgomerie Championship Golf Course, boasts such special details as an atrium, an elevator, a theater, staff quarters and a 70-square-foot safe room. Rochon designed each space with custom wallpapers and carpets and high-end furnishings in keeping with the prestigious gated community’s standards—Emirates Hills is home to many high-profile residents.
DETAILS $34,849,846, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, 97.16.00.54.54.51
THE BUZZ Completed in 2004, English architect Sir Norman Foster’s Chesa Futura condominium project is one of the most instantly recognizable buildings of the 21st century. The property (which houses six luxury residences) offers stunning views of St. Moritz, the lake and the entire Engadin Valley. Inside this curvilinear 5,920-square-foot home are five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, a high-tech kitchen, open living areas and a raised seating platform overlooking an expansive terrace. A lower parking level provides four spaces for the owner. Foster used state-of-the-art technology to design the environmentally sensitive, bubble-like structure, but covered it with more than 250,000 larch wood shingles as a nod to Switzerland’s history—a fitting touch in St. Moritz, which, though now a thoroughly modern city, is considered the world’s oldest winter resort.
DETAILS Price upon request, Wüst und Wüst, 41.44.388.58.38