It’s hard to think of a more enviable location in London to call home than Regent’s Crescent. With the 400 acres of Regent’s Park on your doorstep, extensive private gardens front and back, and the shops and restaurants of Marylebone just minutes away, the three-million budget you need to move in (and that’s for a two-bed, not a studio) doesn’t seem excessive in today’s prime market.
But in a list of standout features, there’s one particular attribute your visitors will be curious to hear all about – all 67 apartments (completing 2020) are grade-I listed, despite being entirely new-builds.
Just over two hundred years ago the architect John Nash was commissioned by the Prince Regent, later King George IV, to create homes for his family and friends. What became Regent’s Crescent was originally conceived as a circus, but only half of it – a crescent – was built by Nash, with an east and west wing. The west wing was badly damaged during the Second World War. Despite being a wreck, it was grade-I listed in 1954. In the 1960s it was redeveloped as offices behind an imitation facade, retaining its listing because of its significance.
Fast-forward to this decade and permission was granted to demolish the entire west wing so it could rise again as a more faithful recreation of Nash’s Regency masterpiece.
Voila! A grade-I listed new-build that, according to Mike Dunn of Historic England “recognises the importance of the Nash development to the history of London town planning”.
The developer, CIT Group, is working with PDP architects to ensure compliance with all listing consents and regulations using modern engineering. For the private gardens, Bowles & Wyer has referenced the design and planting character of Regent’s Park, and, for the interiors, the international studio Millier has celebrated the elegant proportions of Georgian rooms and the period’s architectural grandeur, while incorporating the best of modern technology.
The marketing suite is within one of the apartments, and dressed in a soft palette of what’s termed modern luxury – neutrals, with points of interest added through rugs, cushions, lighting, vintage pieces and art.
Helen Westlake and Alexandra Nord of Millier have chosen a base-build that respects the Regency era yet blends in subtly contemporary touches. Herringbone timber flooring, veined marble and ornate plaster moldings are complemented with solid burnished bronze ironmongery and contemporary lighting in airy rooms that have ceiling heights of up to 4.2 metres.
Attention to detail includes baths hewn from single slabs of marble and plenty of built-in storage for buyers who have Regent’s Crescent as their primary address. Alexandra Nord points out that while commissioning cornicing suitable for a Nash building they also integrated the kind of mood lighting expected for high ceilings.
As well as a grand central entrance leading down to the concierge, spa and fitness rooms, meeting rooms, cinema and parking, Millier also created six individual cores within the crescent so that residents have privacy when accessing the shared spaces, as well as having their own front doors.
“In its day, this building was all about modern luxury,” Westlake says. “Our job was to respect the glamour, the grandeur and the proportions of buying a piece of history, while also allowing residents to set scenes with lighting and live exactly the way they expect.”
• Regent’s Crescent 2-5-bedroom apartments start from 2.9 million [GBP] from Knight Frank and Savills (regentscrescent.com; cit.co.uk)