No.7: Franchuk Villa, Kensington, London - £84m
It is hard to work out exactly how much rich divorcee Elena Franchuk paid for the house - but it's between £69m and £80m depending on who you talk to. But what is for sure - Franchuk House is one of London's largest and most elegant Victorian villas
Elena Franchuk, daughter of a former Ukrainian president, wife of oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, and friend of Elton John, bought this five-story,10-bedroom Victorian villa on Upper Phillimore Gardens for a then record London price in 2008.
It had changed hands just two years earlier for substantially less and been exquisitely refurbished by developer Mike Spink. Featuring a movie theater, sauna, gym and, or course, panic room, the large Kensington mansion had been a girl’s preparatory school.
The installations of an underground swimming pool in Spink’s inimitable minimalist style, plus acres of marble and wood paneling, were just some of the luxe upgrades.
By Peter Swain, 23 March 2011