Living in the Stratosphere
Our last article brought attention one of the hottest trends in residential living – the penthouse, that crowning apartment that is synonymous with glamorous metropolitan living and dramatic views. Being on top of everything else means having privacy all around and a dream lifestyle. This is why penthouses are the apex of today’s residential real estate market.
Elements that are usually specific to houses or villas have been incorporated in urban living, sheltering from the noise and babble in the streets. The advantages are obvious. Being able to make the most of the urban life and refuge in your personal retreat area, complemented by breathtaking views of the surrounding city is definitely appealing. Moreover, extremely wide interior spaces, broad terraces and even hanging gardens make the penthouse a high-end place to live in.
However, penthouses haven’t always been the most desirable places on the real estate market. Until the 1920s, the top floors hosted nurseries, servants, starving artists and stranded animals. They were considered the service part of the building and it took a while for developers to value the penthouses’ aesthetic and financial advantages. Now, they are obviously the most sought-out places.
Penthouses address a certain social stratus, where people have reached a point in their careers when they would settle for nothing less than the breathtaking property, and they are willing to pay to live at the top of their building.
Manhattan is still penthouse central, according to Forbes magazine. In the 1920s, New York was one of the cities where architects such as James E.R. Carpenter and Rosario Candela created a new paradigm for luxury apartment living. Candela developed terraced setbacks, resulting in the wedding-cake-like buildings that narrow as they extend up from the street, providing thus desired outdoor space.
A Designer Spot ranked the top three most luxurious and expensive penthouses in the world at the moment, but these might not last in the top for long, as the market unveils new and fascinating properties on a daily basis.
Number three was the market leader for a long time. The triplex penthouse in the New York City The Pierre hotel was on the market for $70 million, the most expensive apartment ever listed in NYC. The “chateau in the sky” occupies the top three floors of one of the most posh hotels in New York, offering broad views over Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, the Central Park, the East River and the Hudson River. With six bedrooms, six bathrooms and 7.500 square feet, this dreamy spread is one of the ultimate penthouses in the sky.
Number two on our list is a London property that was sold for $220 million. The six-bedroom penthouse in London’s posh One Hyde Park development stretches across two floors and boasts bullet-proof windows, a panic room and stunning views across the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
Barely a month after the London penthouse had been declared the world’s most expensive private residence, the record had been shattered with a $308 million sale, our number one palatial penthouse in Monaco. The 17.500 square feet property, called La Belle Epoque, features three bedrooms, a double-height library, vast roof terraces complete with mature 15-foot trees and an infinity pool. The apartment’s luxurious features include a panic room with reinforced glass and surveillance cameras, cinema screens unveiled at the touch of a button, numerous walk-in wardrobes and dressing rooms, a leisure room with billiard tables and arcade video games, a Jacuzzi and spa, and a media room with special executive chairs which convert into beds.
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