London, Queensberry House, 3 Old Burlington Street
Gross surface area: 241,352 SQF
Floors: 7 below - ground, 8 above - ground
Year of construction: 1996
Year of purchase: 2012
Designated use: offices, residential, commercial
The Queensberry building rises in the central and historical district of Mayfair in London; named after a Fair typically held in May. In fact, this area acquires its name from the popular Fair, which used to be held every fortnight, for about eighty years, up until 1764. Mayfair is one of the most elegant and central areas of London, a few steps away from the Piccadilly Circus square, inundated with advertising boards and huge luminous screens. Mayfair is also close to Regent Street, one of the most prestigious and central commercial axis of the city.
Queensberry House, has a narrow and elongated parallelepiped volume which occupies an entire block, extending from Savile Road to Old Burlington Street; with its height of 58 metres, it dominates the neighbouring buildings, making it one of the most panoramic and best located buildings in London.
Three horizontal blocks configure the sober exterior of the building: the base, made of massive pilasters coated with dark polished marble slabs, encapsulates the commercial gallery which extends along the colonnade, the ample show cases of which, directly give onto the exterior of the building. The above central block of the façade facing Old Burlington Street and painted in ivory, is delineated horizontally by two strong molded stringcourses, interconnecting eight bay windows which, divided by the axis of the façade, enclose the first three floors designated as offices. Each bay, covered by smooth pilasters, is divided by an airy grid composed of columns and orthogonal beams which frame the windows of the first two floors. The grid is crowned by a horizontal window which illuminates the offices on the third floor. The central lobby which extends along the entire block, is delineated by transparent glass windows positioned on metallic frames which guarantee natural illumination within the building. The big open space offices, which occupy the five raised floors, lead to a central courtyard, while on the opposite side a similar vertical block provides for connections through back stairs and four elevators intended for public use and one lift for goods.
Above the superior stringcourse the volumes recede along four floors. The first two floors are still designated for office use, whilst the two floors above, which are withdrawn in relation to the façade, thus guaranteeing maximum privacy and spectacular views, are reserved for residence use. Twelve luxurious duplex apartments, with a surface area of 1000 square metres, have their own private terrace with a wonderful view of the whole of London. A deep basement was developed into a parking lot spread over seven levels, and provides for 320 parking spaces designated for the building.
The axis of the façade facing Old Burlington Street, retreats and is framed by a curved border which marks the monumental entrance to the building. Two majestic light-grey columns emphasize the wide entrance, intersect the entrance, and enclose the principal staircase of the entrance hall, whilst vacating the compact volume of the building.
The vast commercial spaces of the ground floor lead to the lavish foyer, where prestigious materials coat the surfaces, as well as the furnishings, such as the wooden counter made of American walnut and the walls made of Portuguese stone and Carrara marble.
Contrasting with the urban feeling of the building arising from the compact and sober external style, is the luminous and articulated internal space, decorated with different shades and covered with rare and precious materials thus constituting a testimony to the exclusivity of this building in London.