As famous houses go, there are few that are as innovative or as interesting as the Maison de Verre, in central Paris.
And now London has its own version, tucked away in Eglon Mews, a cobbled courtyard off Regent’s Park Road – and it’s being sold off-market for £24m.
With any luck, it’ll have just as colourful a future as the original house’s past. Built in 1932, the Maison was a pioneer of early modern architecture. Commissioned by Dr Jean Dalsace, the gynaecologist wanted the ground floor as his medical practice and the upper floor as his private residence.
Eglon House, as the British version is called, is also a unique live/work space that’s been 10 years in the making. Two buildings are interconnected by an internal staircase, with the office and living space mixed up over 13,500sqft of space.
Both also have bohemian pasts, with the Maison de Verre serving as a socialist salon for France’s Marxist intellectuals and artists like Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst. Eglon House, on the other hand started life as a dairy – back when cows grazed over Primrose Hill – but was converted into Mayfair Recording Studios in the 1970s, where hits by Pink Floyd, David Bowie and The Clash were made.
But Eglon House isn’t an imitation of the Maison de Verre; it’s an homage to it that’s inspired by the three tenets it was built on: honesty of materials, variable transparency of forms and a mix of “industrial” materials like steel, glass and concrete with more traditional home décor.
“Real luxury isn’t just throwing money at things ostentatiously,” says Russell Sage, whose design practice worked on the project in west London. “It’s buying a hand-cut wooden block floor that took thousands of man hours to get right. We took weeks building a hand rail on the staircase.
"As a designer, you’re always under pressure with deadlines and budgets, but with this one we invested time to get things right, to properly research and understand what would work in this context.”
That’s why the house is a mixture of vintage pieces and original design. The famous glass blocks from the “House of Glass” were sourced and recast to form the facade of the building, original furniture was found and light fittings recreated, the blue carpet in the master bedroom is the exact shade of the carpet in the Maison’s bedroom and 1930s construction methods were even used to shape the concrete ceilings.
Yet, there are structural elements, such as the exposed steel beams and curtain fabrics by Henry Moore, that are used to simply evoke the spirit of the era, instead.
Stephen Lindsay, head of estate agent Savills North London and the selling agent for the property, says there are already two buyers who are considering the high profile property. “Eglon House is a very rare offering, a statement home that is both striking, but subtle too,” he explains.
“An exceptional property like Eglon House commands interest from any high net worth individual considering purchasing a London home. The successful buyer will no doubt be globally nomadic with multiple homes in America and elsewhere in Europe, spending time in key cities around the world.”
Eglon House is on sale with Savills Primrose Hill for £24m. Call 020 3428 2900.
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