Sunday, 27 November 2011

A taxingly pointless carbuncle

Today the Mail on Sunday revealed that full council tax is paid on just four out of the eighty-six apartments in the world’s most expensive residential block, One Hyde Park. Westminster Council are said to be infuriated that they have been unable to gain further details of who owns the rest of the apartments whilst the chippy MP for North Kensington, Karen Buck, declares that: “The more money you have, the less you are required to pay.”

Though five further flats are paying the 50% discounted council tax owed on second homes, the remainder that have been sold belong to offshore companies based in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. This is a development that, according to the Daily Mail, is a Dubai-like “ghost town.”

One Hyde Park

One Hyde Park replaced a much loathed office block named Bowater House that was built between 1956 and 1958. Described as “one of the most problematic buildings in London,” this vision of ugliness was designed by Guy Morgan & Partners and was often compared to something “one would expect to find in a Gerry Anderson production” as a “backdrop for Thunderbird 2.” One would have thought that Westminster Council, given a second chance, would have insisted that the redevelopment by Candy & Candy in conjunction with architect Lord Rogers would have resulted in something that complemented the adjoining Victorian Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Wellington Court buildings. They did not.

 Bowater House

Construction began on One Hyde Park some five years ago and it caused great nuisance for the residents of Knightsbridge. Roads were diverted and traffic ground to a halt. Access to the park was restricted and many complained that what would replace Bowater House looked equally awful. I’m afraid I found it personally annoying at the time and what now stands there, to my mind, is just as much of a carbuncle.

 A bedroom suite at One Hyde Park

Now that it has been revealed that just a handful of the apartments at One Hyde Park are actually lived in, it truly does seem that this billion pound development has benefited simply a few and caused utter chaos for many.

Nick Candy and his partner Holly Valance and Christian Candy and his wife Emily Crompton at One Hyde Park

For more on One Hyde Park see:


Anonymous said...

Whoever approved the design of this building on the council must have received a bung? It is terrible architecture.

Dark Avenger said...

It may well be a carbuncle, but it is a LARGE carbuncle and that is what really counts in the world of carbuncles.

Rachel Waterson said...

I agree. I'd like to live there myself.