As guests step over the flagstones to enter this penthouse in Kensington, their eyes will be drawn inexorably upwards by the vast space above them. The reception room at Academy Gardens is the tallest in London at 37ft – a grand entrance indeed. Before arriving, visitors will have passed through a gated entrance on Duchess of Bedford Walk into the landscaped grounds of one the most prestigious prime developments in west London. Estate agent Rokstone has been instructed to re-sell the jewel in the crown, a five bedroom duplex apartment that’s on the market for the princely sum of £26m.
Spanning over 6,000sqft, the Edwardian building was a college for well-heeled young ladies until World War Two. Classes resumed after the war for both ladies and gents before it was redeveloped into luxury homes in the 1990s. Period features remain, such as the living room’s exposed brickwork, metal staircase and rustic lanterns swinging from the double-height ceilings. But the interiors are an unusual mixture of cultures, blending the style of a rustic French chateau and an Asian fortress.
Each bedroom comes with fitted wardrobes, an ensuite bathroom and has room for a super-king-size bed. Elements of outstanding design are scattered throughout the apartment waiting to be discovered, like the mosaic that can be found in one of the ensuite bathrooms, depicting far eastern gods and goddesses, or the mural of an ancient village that’s hand-painted onto the living room wall.
Call Rokstone on 020 7580 2030 or visit rokstone.com