British singer Robbie Williams, formerly of boy band Take That, really wants to build a two-level basement with a swimming pool under his £17.5m, 46-room mansion in London. But his neighbor, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, has no desire to live next to an "iceberg home," and is fighting back. Page, who has lived in his redbrick 1870s property in the Holland Park neighborhood for 43 years, recently hired three different firms—for structural engineering, architecture, and city planning—to write reports on why William's development plan should not be allowed to proceed.
Page's Grade I-listed mansion is a rare tower house that has been described as "one of the most important houses built in this country in the nineteenth century." Page fears that vibrations from the construction of William's proposed über-basement could damage the foundations of his own historic home, and several experts have backed him up. In 2012, the neighbor of a Goldman Sachs director who was building a tricked-out basement extension became trapped inside her home after the millionaire's excavation work shifted the ground below her front door.
The luxurious subterranean playgrounds, which gave rise to the term "iceberg homes," began as a ploy by billionaires and oligarchs to evade London's strict preservation codes. The multi-level basement extensions have since been banned in the tony borough of Kensington and Chelsea, after mansion dwellers there built an underground dog spa, Ferrari museum, and rifle range. In addition to a pool floor accessible by elevator, Williams also wishes to use his 36-by-28-foot underground lair as a recording studio.
· Rock'n'roll neighbour row heats up as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page hires architects who say Robbie Williams' basement pool could destroy his house [Daily Mail]
· Alas, No More Tricked-Out Basements for London Billionaires [Curbed National]
· More Proof That London's 'Iceberg Homes' Are Out of Control [Curbed National]
· All Celebrity Real Estate posts [Curbed National]