This one was up for sale back in 2016. Now the 1960s John Schwerdt modernist house in Rye, East Sussex is back for sale at a much cheaper price.
Of course, when I say much cheaper I don’t mean cheap. This kind of architecture rarely, if ever, comes at a budget price. But if the cost put you off last time, may be worth taking another look in case it now fits your budget.
Has anything changed over the years? A quick look at images past and present suggests not. The images look almost identical and the agent is the same. With that in mind, I can only presume that the house didn’t sell a few years back and is being marketed once again for sale.
In fact, the agent adds, like last time, that the current owners are the second occupants of this place, which pretty much confirms that the house didn’t sell last time out.
But there is a huge plus to that. The current owners have ‘carefully maintained’ the house, retaining all the original details, fittings and finishes where possible. This grade II-listed house isn’t a time capsule, but it isn’t far off being one.
The house is the kind of modernist design many of us dream about and perhaps can only dream about. It was designed by the architect John Schwerdt in 1964 with Historic England noting the ‘carefully detailed design’ of this ‘well-crafted’ house.
You will find it down a quiet country lane and sat in around 68 acres of land. So privacy is pretty much guaranteed here, as well as views. This place has ‘panoramic’ views of the Tillingham Valley through its heavily-glazed exterior.
As I said, the design has been carefully preserved and as such, is pretty much how the architect left it. A light, spacious and minimalist design by the Sussex-based architect, whose work was influenced by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. The latter in particular, looking at this house.
Selling points for me are those walls of glass, along with the wood-panelled ceilings, the open-plan layout, the original fitted units and the subtle updates, presumably by the current owner.
As an example, I can’t tell if the kitchen is original, a renovation or a completely new scheme. I honestly don’t really care either as it works in this space. Which is the key to it.
Some areas are less ambiguous. The main bathroom is certainly original to the property and still looks contemporary today. The master bedroom and its fitted units is an absolute dream. It might have been modernised here and there, but this is still very much a house of the 1960s.
Quite an expansive house too. If you need floor space, this one certainly offers that.
Access the house and you enter the main hall and to your right, you will find a sitting room, study, a bedroom and a bathroom, which seems like a fairly self-contained area.
Heads the other way and you access the dominant space of the house, which is the sizeable sitting room. Beyond that is what I believe to be the master bedroom, complete with bathroom and dressing room.
Head in the other direction and you enter the dining room, kitchen, utility and WC.
The considerable triple garage with interior and exterior access is further along and behind that another seemingly self-contained space of a bedroom, dining room, sitting room and bathroom. At the other side of the garage, you have storage space and a wood store.
I would definitely recommend checking out the floorplan on the agent’s site to make real sense of that layout and to see how flexible it is. Very flexible, at a guess.
The gardens around the place were designed by the celebrated garden designer, landscape architect and author Sylvia Crowe and much of the original scheme remains in place. Talking of outside space, you also get a swimming pool and an orchard with apple and pear trees. The organised gardens cover around two acres.
Beyond that, the land is currently rented to a local farmer for sheep grazing on an annual license basis, with an oast house amongst that land offering shelter for the sheep on the ground floor and an upstairs providing storage space.
A fascinating and very desirable house, it is back on the market for £2,250,000.
Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.