Hirst House is London's Best
LONDON.- Damien Hirst has now applied to build a 25-meter swimming pool and yoga room under his Regent's Park mansion after already winning a bitter battle with the council over the house's extension.
Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network regard the Hirst house as probably the finest art showplace in London.
The artist won the right to build the subterranean cavern with double-height ceilings last year, despite heavy opposition from Westminster City Council, but he has now filed a new application.
Hirst, thought to be the world's wealthiest artist has applied to dig another meter down, so the cavern can accommodate a swimming pool, studio, and yoga studio under the house.
The home was bought for £40million and it is thought that the new extension - which will house his art collection, including works by Picasso and Bacon - will be one of the biggest ever attempted in London.
Designers hope to lower the whole level so that the house can meet Hirst's 'everyday family requirement', according to the application.
The entire bottom level of the 150-ft art gallery will be lowered to make room for the pool, so the stairs will also have to be altered, according to plans submitted to the council. It also adds a sauna and steam room, next to each other and near the pool, with a glazed yoga studio on a mezzanine floor above them, the plans reveal.
The new plans add to extensive work being done on the main house, which is a huge property by Regent's Park, but is in desperate need of improvements.
It is believed that Hirst, who spends a lot of time with his three sons in his Devon mansion, hoped to make London his main residence. He plans to house his art collection in the basement.
Officials had described the initial proposed extension as 'unacceptable' and suggested it be rejected because of the number of trees which would be chopped down to make way. But the world's wealthiest artist got his way at planning committee meeting in October and was allowed to go ahead with the huge project.
Hirst achieved celebrity status for his controversial art, including a shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde and a diamond-studded human skull that sold for £50 million.
The 50-year-old paid £39.5 million for the Grade I Listed home in north London in 2014.
It was one of the biggest sales of the year but was unmodernized - and the artist quickly set about creating plans to transform the 19-bedroom property into a 21st Century super-home.
He submitted controversial plans to demolish and replace the caretaker's cottage at the rear and link it to the main house via a 150-foot long mega-basement. The extension would have been among the biggest new basements in the capital and would also feature double-height ceilings.
Hirst was awarded full planning permission for the work, which will likely end up valuing his John Nash-designed home as one of the most costly in the area. The imposing end-of-terrace property, regarded as a John Nash masterpiece, is unlike many prime London homes because of its land. It is set on a plot of more than half-an-acre with a large garden to the side of it.
It also adds a sauna and steam room, next to each other and near the pool, with a glazed yoga studio on a mezzanine floor above them, the plans reveal. The new plans add to extensive work being done on the main house, which is a huge property by Regent's Park, but is in desperate need of improvements.
Purcell, the architects which acted as the agent on the project, declined to comment.
Mr Hirst has an extensive, rapidly growing art collection, which he has put on show several times in exhibitions. Among his private collection is a £1.8 million painting by Andy Warhol, called Little Electric Chair. The most expensive artwork he owns is reportedly Study for a Figure at the Base of a Crucifixion, painted by Francis Bacon, which he previously said he paid over $12million. Other pieces in his collection include works by Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin and Richard Prince.