Listed off-market to target only those so wealthy that they shut down restaurants when they go for dinner and aren’t familiar with the concept of commercial jets, The Conrad, a sprawling Thameside property at 9 Millbank, is a chance to own history.
The Millbank building a short walk from Parliament was once used as a base by the British Government. Journalist and media mogul Lord Beaverbook, who oversaw The Daily Express and Sunday Express, and Vice-Admiral Sir Alfred Evans, hero of the ‘Broke’ naval action, had offices in the building following the war, but it was originally constructed in the 1920s for Imperial Chemical Industries, the largest manufacturing company in Britain.
Original detailing from a hundred years ago remains throughout the property, with some features so rare and culturally important they are protected by Historic England, the public educational body. The walnut panelled coffered walls of the former ICI’s Director’s Offices form the backdrop of five apartments, reimagined by real estate developers St Edward.
The Conrad is the first of these available to buyers and is a dramatic space with double-height ceilings, well-suited for entertaining. A snip at just £27.5 million introductory price, this is property porn more than practical property, but gosh does it look pretty. One of our favourite features is the thirty-metre-wide terrace with Portland stone colonnades visible from the street below.
There are river views towards Parliament and the Square Mile’s high-rises, and beneath the terrace a row of busts depict influential scientists. They include Alfred Nobel, Founder of the Nobel Peace Prize and inventor of dynamite, and Joseph Priestly, the chemist and theologian who discovered oxygen.
While the building has bags of history, modern textiles and furnishings bring the interior spaces into the present. Parquet flooring, timber panelling and monochrome colour palettes are set against aged oaks, rich leathers and delicate silks.