Damien Hirst Plans Extravagant Underground Swimming Pool at His London Mansion
The massive basement was approved in October, but Hirst's plans keep getting bigger.
Damien Hirst is looking to do some extreme home improvements. The British artist, who counts a John Nash-designed mansion in London’s Regent’s Park among his many real estate holdings, is looking to add a giant subterranean swimming pool to his existing plans for an underground expansion to the property, according to the Daily Mail.
Officials initially balked at Hirst’s first application for the extension, which already featured double-height ceilings, before giving their approval in October. The new plans call for Hirst to dig over three feet deeper, allowing him to add a yoga studio and an 82-square-foot pool.
Current plans also include a nearly 500-square-foot art gallery for Hirst to display his personal collection, said to include works by Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Richard Prince, and Andy Warhol. The collection is on view at Hirst’s private art museum, Newport Street Gallery, which opened in October. The artist, who just turned 50 in June, claims to have spent over $12 million on Francis Bacon’s Study for a Figure at the Base of a Crucifixion, the most expensive work in his collection.
The Regent’s Park property, which Hirst bought for £39.5 million ($57 million) in 2014, had belonged to the previous owner for 45 years, and is reportedly in need of serious renovations on both the interior and exterior. Hirst’s underground expansion, however, is taking things to a whole new level.
Most of the extension will be located beneath the garden, and officials first rejected the design due to the number of trees that would need to be pulled up.
In addition to the planned work underground, Hirst intendeds to tear down the existing gardener’s cottage and replace it with a utilities buildings linked to the mega-basement by the underground passage. The new building will be specially outfitted to lift artworks that weigh up to ten tons.
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