Providing 3,434 sqft of living space with a private roof terrace, a rare three bedroom quadruplex apartment at South Audley Street, which has hosted writers, socialites and movie stars including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Peggy Guggenheim, is for sale via joint sole agents Wetherell and Russell Simpson.
The spacious ‘townhouse-like-apartment’ was originally built in 1888 in Queen Anne Revival style by Morton Peto, designed by architect Thomas Verity who is best known as a London theatre architect, responsible for the Criterion, Royalty and Novelty Theatres.
Wetherell highlight that originally many of the apartments on South Audley Street were designed as large ‘townhouse-like family-apartments’, however over the decades demand for homes in Mayfair has resulted in most being subdivided into smaller apartments. This large quadruplex is now one of just a handful of original 4-floor apartments still surviving in the district.
Given Thomas Verity’s links to London’s theatre and literary scenes, it is perhaps no surprise that during the ‘roaring 20s’ and ‘dirty 30s’ the apartments on South Audley Street were popular with writers, stars of the theatre and silver screen and socialites.
The quadruplex at South Audley Street is no exception and during the 1920s and 1930s it served as the Mayfair pied-a-terre of Scottish film-maker Kenneth Macpherson (1902-1971) and his wife Annie Ellerman (1894-1983) who was the editor of Film Magazine, Close up. Annie’s shipping tycoon father Sir John Ellerman had also lived on South Audley Street during the early 1900s.
Kenneth and Annie had an unconventional marriage, often living apart (Annie staying at flats in Sloane Street and Lowndes Square), and frequently taking other partners; however they remained together for 20 years. Annie and Kenneth were great socialites and guests at their South Audley Street quadruplex included Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Jimmie Daniels and Peggy Guggenheim.
On the coffee table of the first floor reception room Annie Ellerman used to proudly display her personally signed, first edition, copy the book Ulysses, written by her friend James Joyce. This book was recently valued at over £250,000, making it one of the most expensive books in the world.
Fast forward to today and the quadruplex has been completely refurbished and remodelled and now provides a contemporary and highly unusual ‘house-style-apartment’ covering floor floors and spanning three windows wide in the heart of Mayfair village.
The quadruplex provides fantastic volumetric entertaining space and has three spacious bedroom suites. The ground floor entrance leads up to a large ‘L’ shaped interconnecting main reception room and dining room on the first floor.
The main reception room spans the entire width of the apartment building, with a high ceiling, marble fireplace and three tall windows overlooking South Audley Street. The dining room with twin marble fireplace overlooks the rear façade. The high specification includes Oak timber flooring, bespoke full height architraves, wall lights and high ceiling edged with feature coffer with LED lighting.
The fully fitted family kitchen is on a mezzanine floor to the rear façade and has custom-designed base and cupboard units, marble worktops, integrated appliances, stone flooring and coffered ceiling with skylight above.
The second floor provides a media/family room with built-in screen, bespoke joinery and feature fireplace and a separate study/library with central fireplace and bespoke shelving and joinery to either side. Another mezzanine gives access to a guest cloakroom and the private roof terrace.
The master bedroom suite has its own private floor on the third level and provides a main bedroom, walk-in dressing room with fitted wardrobes and a marble and stone clad master bathroom. There are two further bedroom suites, both with ensuite bathrooms, on the top floor, complete with a utility room. The floors are connected by a feature staircase which cleverly combines historic and contemporary design.