The Lancasters, the smart redevelopment of 15 white stucco houses in Lancaster Gate overlooking Hyde Park, demonstrates how one stunning piece of architecture can impact on an area. The conversion to 77 flats, some of which sold for over £3,000 a square foot, lifted the west London neighbourhood of Bayswater on to another trajectory.
Sandwiched between Hyde Park and fashionable Notting Hill, Bayswater still has its share of cheap hotels, while the main shopping street, Queensway, remains full of tatty tourist shops. But developers are buying up those hotels and converting them into luxury flats, and the council proposes to smarten up Queensway, where a Brunei investor has bought property worth £500 million, including Whiteleys shopping centre, and is reported to have grand plans to create a new urban village. Evening Standard October 22nd.