The Principality’s first high-rise building, the Schuylkill, has been spared demolition and reconstruction, and will instead be completely renovated in a project costing upwards of 170 million euros.

The 17-storey building was inaugurated by Princess Grace upon its completion in 1963, having been named after the river that flows through Philadelphia, the birth city of the Princess.

Located on Monaco’s Boulevard de Suisse, the building was the brainchild of real estate developer Gildo Pastor, and is now the inherited property of his granddaughter, Sylvia Ratkowski-Pastor.

“Deep in my heart, I didn’t want to take away my grandfather’s soul. It was complicated to destroy what he had created… When I inherited the Schuylkill, we studied the work to be done,” Ratkowski-Pastor confided to Monaco-Matin.

The project to gut and renovate the high-rise has been undertaken by SAM Société immobilière du Soleil, of which Ratkowski-Pastor is the deputy president.

Zaha Hadid’s London architectural firm was selected in 2018 and has since then spent six years carrying out structural and technical studies. The Fayat construction group subsequently began work with a deadline set for June, 2027.

The exterior of the building will be very visibly different upon completion, with a much more modern look that was to be expected. The most radical visible change will be at the top of the Schuylkill, more specifically its top three floors, which will be demolished to be rebuilt in a different style.

However, it is the interior of the building that will see the greatest overhaul, with the implementation of a clubhouse, a fitness spa and a swimming pool, to name just a few additional amenities.

The number of apartments has been reduced from 200 to 142, courtesy of a focus on quality over quantity. The Schuylkill’s thoroughly upmarket makeover will see rental prices increase, but Ratkowski-Pastor assures preferential rates for existing customers.

Featured image created by Zaha Hadid Architects & Square Architect François Lallemand