Aerial shots have revealed the full decadence of Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev’s London estate.
Guryev is a close associate of President Vladimir Putin and a magnate who founded Europe’s largest phosphate fertilizer manufacturer, Phosagro. He is currently on the European Union’s sanctions list and is estimated to be worth $5.66 billion. He acquired the 25-bedroom property via Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s family.
The Witanhurst, north London mansion is often referred to as the city’s second-biggest family home. It’s enormous size is trumped only by Buckingham Palace, the Guardian has reported.
Shots of its grounds show a park-sized, carefully landscaped sanctuary surrounded by hedges, an enormous, columned main home with multiple adjacent properties on one side. The home was used in the early 2000s as the set for BBC talent show “Face Academy.”
Guryev is not believed to actually live in his London palace — which he has claimed to not be the “legal owner” of — according to MyLondon, but a gated community at the edge of Moscow. His daughter, son-in-law and their children are area residents, though, and previously caused local controversy with their plan to build a large playground for their kids.
Reporters with the publication recently attempted to confront Guryev — among other London mansion-owning Russian oligarchs — and ask him about the Ukraine invasion. The reporter was thwarted by a security guard who, upon approaching Witanhurst’s gates, informed them it was “private property.”
In 2015, the New Yorker published an extensive piece questioning who owned London’s largest private house. The question proved a perhaps surprisingly difficult one to confirm an answer for, but the publication did ultimately determine that Witanhurst belonged to Guryev.
“You can’t put the word ‘need’ on this,” architect Robert Adam, who won a commission to rebuild the home in 2008, told the New Yorker of its excessive size, which is not even totally visible and is made even more extreme by the home’s colossal basement. “The word is ‘want.’ ”