Versace Tower: behind Britain’s first branded high-rise

AYKON London One, also known as ‘Versace Tower’, is the latest residential block to go up in the fresh-faced London area of Nine Elms. Already home to the new US embassy, New Covent Garden Market and the recent Battersea Power Station development, the area is touted for big things. And this tower’s claim to being Britain’s first branded high-rise is only adding to the cachet.

About the tower

Versace Tower is a 50-storey residential development. A quick look at the designs for the exterior shows an angular glass-and-stone structure that does little to stand out from other major property developments. However, it’s what’s inside that counts.

As you've probably guessed from the unofficial name, Versace has handled every aspect of the building’s interior – and we mean everything. Its logo and Greek key design is emblazoned in various sizes and angles across the rooms, from the sofas to the dining suites and even in the bedrooms. Dashes of gold and colour appear throughout, breaking up the cream and wood tones in carefully selected Versace homeware. There’s no doubt this is a luxury development.

Changing attitudes

This isn’t just a gimmick though; it signals a shift in what buyers expect from new properties. Searches for pre-furnished homes jumped by 51% over 2016, driven by time-poor first-time buyers – and it seems luxury developers are ready to respond.

Dubai-based DAMAC is the company behind Versace Tower, and it’s bringing over some of the region’s taste for extra amenities. A residents’ lounge, boasting chandeliers in gold-plated filigree, will be available to all owners, as will a children’s playroom complete with Versace patchwork carpet – perfect for parents keen to stay in the city.

Will it catch on?

Prices in AYKON London One start from £747,000 for a studio flat and rise to £13m for a top-floor duplex, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a niche endeavour. However, the twin lures of exclusivity and complete interior design have done much to drum up interest. Despite not being scheduled for completion until 2020, 170 of the block’s 360 homes have already been sold.

With London prices eclipsing many luxury properties around the world, developments like these could enhance the city’s growing reputation for opulence.