Hinduja Brothers, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, in the second week of December 2014 acquired the iconic old war office building of Winston Churchill. The building will be restored and redeveloped into a five-star hotel and residential apartments.
The Hinduja acquired the 580000 square-feet landmark at 57 Whitehall in Central London in partnership with a Spanish industrial company Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD). The building was sold on a 250-year lease arrangement for an undisclosed amount.
The decision to sell the building was taken by the Ministry of Defence in order to invest in defence priorities. It was put up for sale after being declared surplus to MoD requirements in August 2013.
The building has more than 1000 rooms and two-and-a-half miles of corridors and had escaped largely unscathed even after being bombed eight times during World War II. The building stands diagonally opposite to Prime Minister David Cameron's official residence 10 Downing Street.
About the Old War building
The Old War Office Building’s was designed in Edwardian Baroque style (a style which paid homage to Renaissance architecture), by William Young and completed after his death by his son, Clyde Young, assisted by Sir John Taylor.
The work of construction of the building started in 1901 and it took five years to complete it. It was developed at an expenditure of over 1.2 million Pound (expensive for the time).
The building was constructed for the Imperial General Staff and was central to operations. It remained a focal point for military planning throughout the major conflicts of the 20th century. The Old War Office housed secretaries of state like Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd-George and Churchill.