Arsenal footballer Thierry Henry plans Hampstead mansion with fish tank as big as a bus
PUBLISHED: 12:45 23 February 2012
Footballer Thierry Henry has lodged controversial plans to demolish his £5.6million Hampstead mansion and replace it with a larger house featuring a giant fish tank taller than a double-decker bus.
The proposals would see the landmark home – designed by a former president of Royal British Architects – demolished to make way for a four-storey house with a 40ft high aquarium in the heart of the Redington and Frognal Conservation Area.
The Arsenal all-time top goal scorer’s 25,000-litre fish tank would climb all the way from the new swimming pool, bar and cinema in the basement to the master bedroom on the second floor.
It is thought the aquarium will cost £12,000 a year to run and the former French international striker could rack up an annual fish food bill of £2,500.
The Heath and Hampstead Society will oppose the plan which is expected to trigger a flurry of complaints from neighbours.
The society’s planning spokesman Gordon Maclean said: “People have more money than sense these days quite honestly.
“The design of the new house is clumsy. It has no form, it’s all over the place, much too big and lumpy.
“It’s really out of character with the rest of the road, which is a very elegant road, and the one thing this plan does not have is elegance.”
He added that the current house designed by Sir Robert MacCormac, which is next door to a Grade II listed home, is admired locally for its modern architecture.
But 34-year-old Henry, who recently returned from America Major League Soccer for a brief stint with his former club, claims his current home has “aged badly” and is no longer “fit as a family home”, according to the French striker’s architects.
In planning documents, architects dMFK said: “Its interior spaces are cramped, deteriorated and commercial in feel, with low ceilings, narrow rooms and poor daylight, despite its strong formal arrangement around a glazed atrium winter garden.”
The aquarium “wall”, which would be a series of tanks piled on top of each other, is designed for “daylight to flood through the space and provide hints of activity into family spaces”.
The ex-Gunners skipper bought the house in 2001 with former partner model Claire Merry.
In planning documents it is claimed he wants to build a new house “having recently started a family – which they hope to expand”.
Residents have until March 8 to comment on the proposals and officials will then submit recommendations to the planning committee.
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