A former embassy in London, now a five-story, five-bedroom townhouse, has hit the market for £21.5 million. The building, which also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1947 film “The Paradine Case,” was the former London embassy for Somalia and a base for Mohamed Siad Barre, according to a representative for the sale.
After its life as an embassy, the 18th-century building was converted into a private residence. It was first turned into apartments and was later transformed into the stately home that is currently for sale. Architectural designer Jan Swanepoel and interior designer Hubert Zandberg helmed the significant conversion. Representatives say “no trace” remains of its time as an embassy.
The Georgian townhouse in Portland Place, Marylebone, touts 8,046 square feet of living space. From the street, it cuts an elegant figure with a Portland stone facade, 14 sash windows and a grand arched doorway.
The exterior may have retained its historic look, but the interior has seen a complete makeover. A grand scale was added to key doorways in addition to restorations and recreations of its original plaster moldings. Technical and AV systems, some from Lutron HomeWorks, have been discreetly incorporated throughout the home.
On the ground floor, guests are greeted by a sweeping, chandelier-adorned large reception hall and room with a fireplace. The updated kitchen and breakfast room have a central island, SubZero Wolf range cooker, pantry, and staff room. It sits not far from a formal dining room suited to entertaining, surrounded by detailed moldings across the room’s walls and the mantle over its fireplace. The lower level features a spacious family room, gym, and treatment room.
The first floor previously housed the grand salon where statesmen were entertained during the home’s time as an embassy and during its time as the headquarters of MP Charles Ross even further back. Today, the first floor is dominated by the principal suite, which sports a pair of en-suite dressing rooms and bathrooms. The bedroom has its own fireplace and awe-inspiring bathrooms with towering mirrors and a chandelier.
Another floor up, three en-suite guest bedrooms and staff accommodations provide ample space for a family or guests. A small outdoor courtyard rounds out the home.
“Broad, leafy Portland Place has a particularly important role in London’s regal history, incorporated back in the 19th century into the royal route from Carlton House to Regent’s Park, developed for the Prince Regent by John Nash,” says Gary Hersham, Founding Director of Beauchamp Estates. “Today, thanks to a painstaking refurbishment programme the house has hit its heyday as a luxurious London residence that combines family practicality with every possible luxury.”
The location on Portland Place offers added amenities such as easy access to Regent’s Park and Oxford Circus, as well as placing cultural institutions like the BBC Broadcasting House and the Royal Institute of British Architects on the resident’s doorstep.
The new owners will be able to pretend they’re the modern Gregory Peck, imagining themselves taking his place in the David O. Selznick-produced “The Paradine Case.” Though, they should wish for fewer dark twists than Peck faced in Hitchcock’s hands. The home is represented by Beauchamp Estates.