Glass house where Tim Burton wrote the Dumbo movie on sale for £ 20million


The pool even serves as a movie theater (Photo: Metro.co.uk/ Tony Murray)

Perhaps it’s a delightful irony that the Modernist mansion that director Tim Burton rented while working on his remake of the classic Disney film Dumbo, The Adorable Elephant, has more than enough room to house the real thing, and a few of his friends.

The extraordinary 13,000 square foot Eglon House, where Burton lived and worked for a few years starting in 2016, is now on the market for £ 20million.

Secret in a stable on Primrose Hill in London, the quite remarkable property is located on the site of the famous recording studios of Mayfair.

Burton was the first person to occupy the renovated mansion, housing his creative team in one of two sensational designed buildings and living with his executives in the other.

This monument of steel, glass, concrete and wood took six years for the architectural firm Chassay + Last Architects and the design house Russell Sage Studio to design and build it. They have created something quite remarkable.

The east and west wings rise four stories and face each other in a private paved courtyard.

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

The cool exterior of Elgon’s Houses celebrates glass and steel (Photo: Tony Murray)

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

The luxury and industrial vibe continues with a glass chandelier suspended from a concrete ceiling (Photo: Tony Murray)

They are interconnected at the level of the basement where there is a sauna, a hammam and a futuristic swimming pool, covered by a mechanical rising floor.

The 10ft wide LED cinema screen on the adjacent wall has been specially ordered and, for over-enthusiastic freestylers, is fully waterproof.

The five-bedroom property features spectacular interiors, full-height cold-pressed bronze framed windows and theatrical glass-brick facades, and was inspired by Pierre Chareau’s iconic Maison de Verre – House of Glass – in Paris, built 85 years earlier.

Such care has been taken to every detail by the designers here, that even the glass discs, which reflect the prisms of light, were cast using the original molds from the Maison de Verre from a factory in Lille.

The East Wing, where Burton and his team worked on Dumbo, features museum-quality bronze track lighting and the greatest sense of industrial drama.

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

You can watch a movie while bathing (Photo: Tony Murray)

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

The kitchen adopts the modern industrial look (Photo: Tony Murray)

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

The master bedroom has a large the copper bath (Photo: Tony Murray)

The first floor (over 2,000 square feet) has been configured as the main bedroom, with a copper roller tub and beautifully matched marble in the en-suite shower and separate toilet.

Decently fabulous, this is a large-scale industrial design, a far cry from the tidy and relatively conservative lofts of New York’s Meatpacking District or London’s Shoreditch.

The west wing, with its glass brick wall overlooking the courtyard, has a more intimate art deco spirit, evoking the glamor of the Orient Express.

Tim Burton isn’t the only famous visitor to Elgon House – Tina Turner and David Bowie recorded here during his music studio era (Photo: Alamy)

2EXGR2X DUMBO, DUMBO, 2019

Want to meet Dumbo in real life? London Zoo is just around the corner (Photo: Alamy

The living room on the ground floor features copies of Chareau’s original sofas and tables, all made in Britain while many of the floors are beautifully crafted from fine-grained pine and hand-cut and laid in small pieces in what would have been called an oyster bowl 200 years ago.

It took four months to create the floors alone.

The bedrooms are furnished with bespoke polished walnut dressers and bathrobes. There is a staircase to the basement made of pine and grout mixed with Portland stone.

Throughout the property, huge carpets and huge pieces of contemporary art add atmosphere to what is indeed a palace of raw charm.

The two entrances – one through the cobbled stables, with a bespoke metal door covered in metallic grape leaves, and the other through a vast, unassuming industrial black mesh door – add to the sense of history and secrecy of the site.

But the site itself is steeped in history. A census map in the mid-19th century showed it served as stables and barns, which were later used during World War I to make cartridge cases.

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

(Photo: Tony Murray)

It was then used by Express Dairies for milk production from cows that grazed on nearby Primrose Hill until the 1950s.

In the late 1970s it was converted to Mayfair Recording Studios where a host of music legends – including David Bowie, The Clash, Tina Turner and Pink Floyd – recorded albums.

By the time the current owner, a London real estate developer, bought it, the large single building was in disrepair and had to be demolished. Eglon House, was then born.

Eglon House, Primrose Hill.

Atmospheric rooms use double height ceilings (Photo: Tony Murray)

Eglon House is not only glamorous and beautiful to look at. It’s smart too. On the top floor, photovoltaic solar mats are placed in the triple-glazed skylights, so that they reduce glare and generate energy.

Russell Sage, who has worked with the architects throughout the project, says the real star of the building is its epic scale.

“It’s incredibly decadent to have double and triple height ceilings,” he says. “It was wonderful that Tim Burton was the first person to occupy it because he had such an incredible sense of how to use the connected living and working space.

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to work on creating an experience on this property from the road to home. I have been a designer for 30 years and this project will stay with me forever due to the ability we had to create such an amazing property.

“There was a fabulous alignment between the designers and the client that was brave enough to incur such an expense to achieve this level of detail. The project was laborious. But never painful.

Primrose Hill High Street is a short walk away, as are the local parks and gardens. And if Dumbo lived here, the London Zoo is just steps away.


What you get for your money

Eglon House, Primrose Hill

Sale price: £ 20million

Rental price: £ 15,000 p / s

Room for an elephant

Over 13,000 square feet of five-bedroom, work accommodation and recreational facilities of over 13,000 square feet, Eglon House is spread over four floors and divided into two wings.

In terms of square footage, that’s enough room to house a small herd of Dumbos. What they would do with the elevators is a whole different matter, however. There is also a private central courtyard and parking.

Glass drops

A combination of floor-to-ceiling windows or light reflecting glass brick walls.

Site of special interest

The original dairy that stood here has been converted into the famous Mayfair recording studios used by great musicians such as David Bowie and Tina Turner.

Pool resources

The indoor pool doubles as a movie theater and is located underground under the outdoor courtyard.

The ten-foot-wide LED display is waterproofed so you can watch Free Willy while you bathe, but a hydraulic floor can be rolled out to cover the pool, if you fancy a drier affair. There is also a sauna, steam room and cocktail bar. Bottom up.

Room to dream

The master bedroom suite offers an enormous 2,000 square feet of space, with a bedroom, walk-in closet and living room. There are four further bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom.

Sense of industry

A gratifying blend of industrial boldness and sleek British craftsmanship, Eglon House has ‘oyster’ floors and bespoke detailing, including the characteristic staircase in pitchpin and grout mixed with Portland stone.

Learn more about Maison Eglon here.

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