But in 2013, New Scotland Yard - the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police - announced plans to move back to Victoria Embankment and sell its headquarters on Broadway, making space for a new development in prime central London.
The site was bought by Dubai-backed prime developer Northacre, which demolished the old building to make way for The Broadway.
The six-tower development, designed by architecture firm Squire & Partners, was completed in August 2022 and features 258 luxury apartments, including a collection of penthouses.
The apartments range in price from £1.64m to more than £25m. Amenities include as a heated pool, gym, and games room, in addition to office space, retail and food and beverage outlets.
"It’s been very popular from a sales perspective," said Amy Wardell, head of brand at Northacre.
"Many of the apartments have wonderful views of London and we literally have 360 views here, including Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station to the south. There are some real landmarks right on our doorstep."
Northacre turned to top interior designers Minotti London and Oliver Burns Studio to kit out two of the show apartments - in an increasing trend among prime developers to sell fully-furnished properties curated by big names in the industry.
The Minotti London penthouse, which has views of Westminster and the London Eye, among other landmarks, is on the market for £25 million – although the interiors are available by separate arrangement at an additional cost.
The 4,672 sq ft four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment, features a self-contained one-bedroom apartment and is furnished with signature pieces from Minotti’s latest collections, as well as other luxury brands, including Max Mara.
“We already knew Northacre and wanted to collaborate with them,” Anke Sumerhill, the managing and Creative Director of Minotti London told The National.
“They asked if we were interested in doing this apartment. It’s a rather large one. But that suited us because a lot of our furniture is quite big and we also feel that it complimented the building really well."
She added: "I think it’s always better to show apartments furnished to give people a better idea of how it would work."
The sitting room is split into three zones, with a TV watching area, seats in the middle and a large dining table for entertaining. The room features a modular seating system designed by Rodolfo Dordoni from the 2022 Minotti Collection. The back-to-back configuration is created with ‘flock’, a man-made feather developed by Minotti from recycled PET.
In the kitchen, there are casual and more formal seating areas, as well as sculptural lighting from Gabriel Scott. A large round table from the Dan collection by Christophe Delcourt is paired with Torii swivel chairs by the Japanese design studio Nendo founded by Oki Sato.
Additional sculptural lighting by Gabriel Scott stands in the entrance hall together with a large drawing “Lucky Cat” by Gabriella Anouk, known for her application of hyper-realism in art.
The hall leading to the bedrooms features a picture gallery of iconic images of the late Queen Elizabeth II, among other feature images and two large lacquered shelving units by Rodolfo Dordoni.
The neutrally decorated bedrooms feature other pieces by Rodolfo Dordoni and Gabriel Scott.
The Oliver Burns Studio-designed 1,625 sq ft apartment, which has three-bedrooms and a view of Big Ben, is on the market for £5.125 million, with furnishings also available on request at an extra cost.
It features bespoke furnishings and design pieces from largely British artisans, including by "couture upholsterer" Aiveen Daly, who created botanical-inspired green wall panels for the entrance hall.
The living room features a “curvaceous” sofa and a statement chair, paired with stone tables made from calacutta ice marble and dining table hand-carved from American black walnut.
Sharon Lillywhite, founder of design firm Oliver Burns Studio, said almost all, with the exception of one, of the big pieces of furniture in the apartment were custom-made.
She told The National: “Because we work at the very top end of the market it’s so important for us to work with the right artisans to do the apartment for Northacre justice.
"Aiveen Daly is just a staple of ours. Her background was in fashion and she has done some gorgeous panels."
She said although there are splashes of colour throughout, the decor was deliberately kept fairly neutral.
"There are a variety of people coming to look at the show flat and you couldn’t go crazy with strong colours because it might put people off.
"But we have done some accents with the textures. A combination of textures is important to make a room more interesting."