A very interesting house and design on the market. The 1960s Solar House in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire could be your next home.
Interesting for many reasons, from the architecture to the interior, not to mention the potential that this house offers.
According to the UK Moho database, Solar House was constructed to a David Tapp design. You might recall David Tapp’s Tapp House recently being up for sale with The Modern House. But there is a more interesting insight into this one available online.
That source is the Henley Standard, which has a feature that includes background from one of the children of the original owner, describing the project as a ‘Grand Designs’ house build long before the TV show appeared.
They bought a plot of land, then lived in a caravan for 18 months while the house was constructed around the steel frame from 1969 into 1970/71. The finished design was said to take inspiration from Ferrum House in Harpenden, which coincidentally is also on the market right now.
Do have a read of that article for the full background, but also read on for what the house offers now. Which is a bold modern design from a bygone age, but one that could rise again with some updating and renovation. The architecture itself is still credible today. In fact, this is the kind of design many people crave. They just don’t build many houses like this in the modern era.
I honestly wouldn’t change it all in terms of the actual design. But the interior is perhaps down to personal taste. This is a period piece from the turn of the 1970s, although much of that is perhaps down to the furnishings. Some very desirable ones too. Like me, you might have noticed the Guzzini light fittings and Merrow Associates tables. Must-haves at the time for anyone looking for a cutting edge interior. I’d love to think they can stay as they really are perfect for the space.
Beyond that, you may have spotted the exposed brick, that amazing fireplace, the beams, the full-height windows, the open-tread staircase and what I presume are the original kitchen and bathroom. All positives.
Of course, work will be needed to bring this back to its best. The ceilings perhaps tell you that, with the issues there likely to be connected to the flat roof. As I said, some of the finishes might not be for you and some might not be to your taste.
There may be other practical considerations too, such as the upgrading of windows for example. But do look beyond that. Investment will inevitably be required, but I suspect it will be money well spent in the long term.
As for the layout, this is an ‘upside down’ house, with the main reception space on the upper floor, offering the best of the light and the views.
The entrance to the house is situated under the overhanging upper floor, leading into the tiled hallway and the first sight of that wonderful staircase. On the ground floor, you will find three double bedrooms, a sizeable family room (which would adapt to an extra bedroom) plus a shower room.
Head upstairs for two more double bedrooms, the family bathroom and the main/dual-aspect living room with a separate dining room. Finally, you also have the kitchen and breakfast room.
There’s also the pull of the plot too. The house sits in what’s described as a ‘delightful tranquil hamlet in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and in a plot that is said to be around a third of an acre. The woodland nearby also means the house isn’t overlooked, which is a bonus and Henley is just four miles away. All in all, a wonderful place to be.
If the location works for you, along with the idea of a 1960s modern house and renovation project, Solar House is now up for sale with a guide price of £1,000,000.
Images and details courtesy of Tim Peers. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.