London’s Old War Office in the Whitehall neighbourhood of the English Capital is a building with some impressive history. Not least of all, it is where author Sir Ian Fleming came up with James Bond. Now, following a new development project, you can purchase a luxury residence in the very same building.
1. A rich history
The building, which dates back to 1906 and is located just across from Her Majesty’s Horse Guards and less than a five-minute walk from 10 Downing Street, has a rich history. Ex-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill commanded the British armed forces from there, and it is a network of underground tunnels below the building which have been used by spies and secretaries of state. Perhaps not surprisingly then, it was here that author Sir Ian Fleming came up with his famous spy series,James Bond. Since then the site has also been used for filming in five Bond films and the Netflix series The Crown.
The site itself at 57 Whitehall was once home to the Palace of Whitehall, where British monarchs such as King Henry VIII, lived from 1530 to 1698. Plans for the then ‘new’ War Office’ building started in 1898 by Scottish architect William Young and were completed by his son, Clyde Young, in 1906 after his father’s death in 1900. The construction project took five-years and cost £1.2 million at the time, producing the 1,100-room building of seven floors, spanning 580,000 square feet and ecompassing two and a half miles of corridors.
2. Luxury hotel and residences
Now, after being closed to the public for more than a century, a new development will see it reopen next year with a hotel, restaurant, spa, and residences which are available to purchase. The building is being transformed into 125-room Raffles London at The OWO luxury hotel and the 85-unit OWO Residences by Raffles, both of which will open in late 2022 and make up the first Raffles property in London. The establishment will also feature nine restaurants and bars, an immersive spa with a 65-foot long poo, a 620-seat ballroom and a Winter Garden to host daytime dining and afternoon tea.
Meanwhile each residence has its own shape and size, depending on its precise location, offering duplex, lateral, and penthouse residences from studios to five bedrooms, as well as two turret residences above the skyline. The residences boast ceilings as high as 4.4 meters (14.5 feet) and residents will have access to 30,000 square feet of dedicated amenities, including a 16-seat screening room, game room, gym, workout studios, and seven lounges. Of course these residences don;t come at a small cost, available for purchase now starting at £5.8 million (about $8 million USD) for a two-bedroom home. The redevelopment project is headed by Hinduja Group, together with Historic England, the Museum of London Archaeology, and New York-based designer Thierry Despont to ensure a thoughtful approach is taken for the redesign.