Grade II-listed and effortlessly cool, this 1960s Michael Manser modern house in Ashtead, Surrey, is up for sale.
If modernism is your thing, then this, budget permitting is likely to be at the top of your list. Yes, I mentioned budget because, as you might expect, this kind of architecture in this area doesn’t come cheap.
It dates back to 1967, a single-storey slice of loveliness that sits within a ‘quiet and peaceful’ walled garden in the historic village of Ashtead, Surrey. I would wager that there’s little else like it in Ashtead.
There’s little else like it anywhere. This minimal modern design takes its inspiration from the much-loved Californian Case Study houses. You know the kind of thing – angular modernism, walls of glass, natural light, open living space, and so much more.
Has it changed? It has. But in a good way. The house has been ‘sensitively extended’ under the supervision of Manser, boosting the internal living space to over 3,000 sq. ft. and with views of the garden, via floor-to-ceiling windows, in every room. It’s a lovely garden too.
The only obvious hint of extension is the more contemporary finishes in some spaces, with a glass corridor connecting the old and the new. Hard to describe anything here as ‘old’, though. This design is still way ahead of the curve, with original design details (and some furnishings) harking back to the 1960s within a piece of architecture that still has an air of something futuristic.
The original 1960s house is ‘strategically orientated’ to optimise the southerly aspect, with the main living spaces built in a neat rectangular grid to ‘exacting proportions’. The arterial glass corridor connects that to the extended section, housed in the easterly wing.
Entry is from the south-easterly side, leading through to what’s described as a ‘generous hallway’, which in turn accesses the main living areas and four of the five bedrooms.
The timber-lined walls and ceilings hark back to the original era of the house and add character, while the expansive glass walls in the main reception space blur the lines of the architecture and its natural setting. And if you want to break it down even more, sliding glazed doors open directly onto the lawns.
Note also the full-height bookcases line the dining room wall, and skylights adding in more light from above.
The kitchen is one area where the modern era significantly wins out, but, like bathrooms, is always a concession made when it comes to practical living. This one is a bright and understated space with all the appliances and surfaces you need, as well as more of those views of the garden.
The four bedrooms in this part of the home are, as you expect, which is well-sized and with more glazing to take in the surroundings. Bespoke cabinetry, too, as well as an en-suite bathroom for the main bedroom. A family bathroom nearby serves the other three double bedrooms.
Of course, that’s not quite all, as the arterial corridor, which is lined with cabinetry, takes you to the additional self-contained living space and a fifth bedroom. It also creates an inner courtyard, with views across it as you pass through.
This neutral space has sliding glass doors opening to the gardens from here, skylights drawing in extra light, and a brick fireplace raised above a concrete hearth as a focal point. This area also contains a final bedroom, A shower room, and a kitchenette. Perfect for visitors staying over. Or a family annexe.
I’ve mentioned the setting, but more detail is worth adding. It’s a selling point in its own right.
The agent describes the land around the house as being ‘rich in biodiversity’ and ‘teeming with local wildlife’, adding a calming backdrop to the living space it surrounds.
Decked seating areas have been carefully positioned to align with the rising and setting sun, creating terraces for eating and entertaining throughout the seasons. There are also ‘more intimate spaces for coffee or a glass of wine’ tucked beneath the tree canopies.
That’s pretty much it. This is a fine example of 1960s modernism updated and extended in the right way within a wonderful, peaceful setting. Isn’t that what we all want?
You just need the money to secure it. It comes with an asking price of £1,850,000.
Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.