Albany London (GB)
Sir William Chambers and Henry Holland
Since the radical renovation of the eighteenth-century Melbourne house on Piccadilly (London) into flats for single gentlemen in 1802, the complex, renamed Albany, has had a special reputation. It is an exclusive, desirable and, at the same time, somewhat infamous enclave in the heart of London, with a long list of famous inhabitants from the world of politics and culture.
Melbourne House was designed and built by William Chambers for Lord Melbourne from 1771 to 1775. Owing to financial problems, the owner sold the house to the Duke of York in 1792, who in turn had to do the same in 1800. Couts, the banker that granted the mortgage on the house, went looking for a new, more profitable venture with builder and developer Copland. After earlier plans to build a new cross street with mansions on the building lot between Piccadilly and Vigo Street, or to redevelop the existing house to serve as a hotel, a plan was made with architect Henry Holland to realize an apartment complex.