£400m refurbishment plan for UK’s “most notorious” apartment block

A London apartment block described as “the UK’s most notorious address” is to be transformed in a £400m overhaul. The owners of Dolphin Square in Pimlico — which has been associated with several scandals — have unveiled plans to add 200 new flats and refurbish all 13 “houses” in the 1,200-apartment complex. 
 
As part of the proposal from architects Eric Parry, 7,000 windows will be replaced and a gym and offices will be built underground. The 7.5-acre complex was built in 1937 and quickly became popular with MPs, peers and senior civil servants because of its proximity to Westminster and Whitehall.
 
Over the years, Dolphin Square has been associated with several scandals: “blackshirt” leader Oswald Mosley was arrested at his flat there during the Second World War, and Admiralty clerk John Vassall was living in the square when he was unmasked as a Soviet spy in 1962.
 

Tenants have included Princess Anne, Harold Wilson, Sid James and Barbara Windsor. In John le Carré’s latest novel, A Legacy Of Spies, Dolphin Square is home to several safe houses.
 

In 2015 American firm Westbrook took control of Dolphin Square — still the biggest block of private flats in Britain — paid freeholder Friends Provident £200m. Work on the five-year redevelopment is expected to start in 2020.
 
Mark Donnor, of Westbrook, said, 

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“Dolphin Square will become a bigger and much more interesting building. But it will remain a middle-market block.”

 

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