Property of the week: Empire House in Knightsbridge could be your dome sweet dome

Jess Lester
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Penthouse terrace at Empire House

Empire House penthouse, £8.25m

Inspired by the grand exteriors of Harrods and the V&A, the penthouse at Empire House is crowned with a Portland Stone dome with views of the Brompton Oratory and, in the distance, Hyde Park.

Originally used as offices for the Continental Tyre and Rubber Co, the building was completely remodelled in 1924 to accommodate several new apartments, including this 3,475sqft penthouse. Though luxury penthouses are hardly a rarity in this part of town, Simon Godson, director at estate agent JLL, which is handling the sale, believes the preservation of the Edwardian building that makes it something special.

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“I can’t think of anything on the market at the moment quite like this,” he says, “it definitely has some character to it. Geographically, it’s a cracking spot for anyone to live, but it’s also so quirky – a fantastic find that can be customised.”

Boasting five bedrooms and five bathrooms, the unusual back-to-front penthouse, with bedrooms towards the entrance and living areas at the rear, also has planning permission – notoriously difficult to come by for Grade II listed buildings like this one – to adapt the layout, allowing fans of open-plan living to knock down a wall between the lounge and a bedroom.

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Need even more space to entertain? Planning permission has also been granted to turn the feature dome, which is currently home to an office and a library, into a spectacular, circular entertaining space.

“Planning has already been done and paid for, so now it’s left up to the buyer to update the building to their own specifications, or just leave it as it is.” There’s even a cupboard in the laundry room that leads into another two bedroom apartment, which is also on sale with JLL for £3m and would make an ideal space for live-in staff. For a renovation project with Edwardian charm in the centre of town, there’s no better place to call dome.

Call JLL on 020 7306 1610

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