The Hinduja Group and OHL have submitted their plans to transform the Old War Office into a luxury hotel and resi scheme with an estimated GDV of £1bn.
The iconic Whitehall landmark, which the billionaire Hinduja brothers – in partnership with Spanish group Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos – snapped up for £350m for last year, is to be reimagined as a five-star hotel and apartments, and it looks like the resi element will play an even bigger role than previously thought.
Proposals drawn up by ERP Architects and submitted to Westminster provide for “up to 88 residential dwellings” sprawled across the rear western half of the 580,000 square foot building.
The units will have external frontages to Whitehall Court, Whitehall Place and Horse Guards Avenue, and be arranged around a relocated, reconstructed and landscaped triangular courtyard, whilst also facing the “grand Quadrangle”, where the main resi entrance will be. This Quad will be “truly the heart” of the proposed development, according to the submission.
The hotel element involves 125 bedrooms, including some pretty sumptuous royal suites, with facilities including a 600-guest ballroom, an 82-foot swimming pool, a rooftop bar, a massive spa and wine cellars. The operator behind the world famous Raffles resorts has been linked to the scheme in a number of reports, but we’re yet to hear any confirmation of this.
The developer also wants to open up parts of the building to the general public “for the very fist time” and make the whole thing seem less like a “fortress”.
Built between 1898 and 1906, the neo-Baroque Grade II* listed building played host to Churchill, Kitchener and Lloyd-George during some of Britain’s darkest hours, but was put on the market after being declared surplus to requirements by the MOD in September 2013. The 250-year lease attracted around 25 bids.