Talk to anyone with multiple homes around the world, and chances are that views are major selling points. Although square footage, number of bedrooms and make of shower can be more or less bought or replicated in any corner of the Earth, views are irreplaceable.
And when it comes to panoramas, nothing beats a penthouse. Happily, insatiable demand is matched by the impressive array of truly gravity-defying projects currently under construction. Competition is becoming increasingly fierce for the title of tallest residential building as the skylines of our major cities metamorphose before our eyes. More than ever, the appeal of the penthouse endures and you can now buy a property built so far into the sky you can see the curvature of the earth from its drawing room.
Lateral living may be fashionable, but it’s also the epitome of ease of use for highnet- worth individuals. An expensive rambling townhouse which is troublesome to maintain and hard to secure lessens in appeal considerably when compared with a triplex penthouse with pool, gym, topnotch security, 24-hour concierge and a five-star restaurant that delivers. They’re the ultimate lock-up-and-leave property, right in the centre of town: here are our top three penthouses in the world for sale today.
ICON penthouse, Miami
Miami is one of the best places in the world for people-watching, and this penthouse is the most spectacular venue from which to do it. Occupying the very best address in the ‘South of Fifth’ district, this property occupies the top three floors (41, 42 and 43) of the inspiring Philippe Stark-designed ICON building. The penthouse has been constructed to be decorated to the buyers’ tastes and offers more than 10,000sq ft of living space. An impressive double-door entrance leads into the fabulous two-storey grand salon with floor-to-ceiling views— the best in the city.
The property offers six huge bedrooms and 10 bathrooms plus private parking for seven vehicles. In addition, the master suite offers breathtaking views from 16ft-high windows and has a vast bathroom area, media area and ample wardrobe space. There are also wraparound balconies around much of the living space on the first two floors.
The top level of the penthouse, which is essentially the roof of the building, also has extensive terracing and a private pool that seems custom-built for entertaining on a grand scale while admiring views of Biscayne Bay, the Miami skyline, Fisher Island and the brilliant blue of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the colourful people below!
Guide price $17 million, through Quintessentially Estates (0845 224 3658; www.quintessentiallyestates.com)
BVLD Super Penthouse Singapore
Not for the faint-hearted, this 7,000sq ft penthouse, towers more than 590ft, or 36 floors, above the shopping Mecca of Orchard Road in Singapore, complete with private lifts over three floors as well as a private swimming pool hovering in the sky.
Set at the top of the incredibly grand BVLD building opposite the Four Seasons, this is Singapore’s most prestigious penthouse to date. Designed to extremely contemporary, high specifications, the kitchen and dining room are on the first floor along with the principal living room, which has double volume curtain glass walls with views over Orchard Road. The second floor has four bedrooms, one en suite, and there is also a family room on a mezzanine level.
But it’s the master suite on the third floor of the penthouse that really wows: occupying the entire floor, it has a walk in closet with more than 14ft of wardrobe space and a master living room that overlooks the 36ft lap pool cantilevered over the side of the building, as well as a freestanding bar area from which to savour the view. The fourth floor comprises a timber-decked terrace with further panoramic views over the city.
Guide price $24.6m through SC Global Developments (00 65 6734 9119; www.scglobal.com)
The Chicago Spire, Chicago
Designed by starchitect (‘Designer-label Homes’, page 88) and structural engineer Santiago Calatrava, the Chicago Spire is one of the most impressive buildings under construction anywhere in the world. Its penthouse will have 360¢ª views, from which you can marvel at the curvature of the Earth, and which, on a clear day, reach over four states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana) as well as over Lake Michigan. It will also feature the World’s longest elevator run at 1864ft, shattering the previous record by 500ft.
There are just two penthouses being built in the Spire, both of which offer four bedrooms, his and hers dressing rooms, four bathrooms plus staff bedroom and bathroom, all over two floors (141 and 142). The accommodation is spread out over 10,293sq ft, with most of the living accommodation on floor 141 and the bedrooms on the floors above.
One of the designs has two spiral staircases, two studies, a child’s homework area, a media room and an exercise room. The other provides more airy, open-plan living with one sweeping staircase, and a large open-plan kitchen.
There is no outdoor space, understandably considering that you’re more than 2,000ft up in the air, but, within the building, there are swimming pools, health facilities and further family facilities, and, of course, a 24-hour concierge. Guide price $40m through Savills (020 7016 3740; www.savills.co.uk/abroad).