This award-winning self build is Scarborough’s finest contemporary property and it’s up for sale. Sharon Dale reports on the chance to own a grand design.
There are many reasons why you might want to buy into Scarborough. It’s a beautiful seaside town with great beaches, good amenities and property prices that start at about £70,000 for a one bedroom flat.
It is also attracting a growing number of artists and makers and this influx of arty types is a sure sign of an up-and-coming hotspot.
Now, for those who can stretch their budget to £799,995, there’s another compelling reason to move to Scarborough.
That’s the price of one of the best contemporary homes on the Yorkshire coast, which has just come onto the market with Hunters.
High Close on Weaponess Drive was designed by Bramhall Blankharn Architects to make the most of its hilltop position and sea views. Its style and construction won on an LABC building excellence award for best housing development.
Owners Frank and Amanda Robinson, who commissioned the striking home, are seling with a heavy heart after five years.
“Work has taken Frank to Peterborough so we are relocating, but it will be very dfficult to leave, ” says Amanda.“ We love this house.”
They built it after a long search for the perfect home and their original plan was to refurbish the red brick 1950s house, which sat on the plot.
“It had been empty for three years and the idea was to renovate and extend it,” says Frank.
Architect Ric Blenkharn, of Bramhall Blenkharn in Malton, had a far better idea: “The house was surrounded by mature trees and felt quite hemmed in but, most significantly, it completely ignored the panoramic views of the sea to the east.
“Whilst it was capable of alteration and extension, the siting would never have created a dramatic relationship with the sea. When I first saw the place, it seemed obvious that a new house should be built into the slope to maximise the magnificent view.”
Bowled over with his grand design, Frank and Amanda agreed and, at Ric’s request, they began to keep a diary of the way they lived.
“Ric asked us to keep the diary and to draw up a wish list of what we wanted from the new house and he used that to create a model. That was it. We were blown away.
“He got it just right from the design, orientation and light, to how we would use the space,” says Frank.
The property is built into the slope and has a steel frame and concrete raft foundation. When viewed from the road, the two tiered house is discreet. All you can see is part of the Welsh slate wall that forms the rear of the upper level.
The roughly-hewn slate is clad onto a curved lozenge shape that contains a cinema room, boot room, cloakroom, store room, pantry and laundry room. The lozenge acts as a buffer to the principal living spaces in front and below it, which are built from block and render with huge areas of glazing and iroko wood cladding. These are topped with a sloping zinc roof and feature “fins” at either end.
The two en-suite bedrooms, large kitchen dining area and office space on the upper level all enjoy a sea view and access to a balcony
The kitchen looks down onto a double- height living room, which has six metre high windows and a feature concrete fireplace.This lower level also includes a games room, guest bedroom suite, linen room and master bedroom suite.
Ric brought natural light into the rear of the house with a long rooflight and a portal in the ceiling of the cinema room.
Planning wasn’t a problem as Scarborough Council embraced the idea of a well-designed reflection of contemporary architecture on a road that has individual properties from different eras.
Construction took a year but was relatively stress-free thanks to a dream team of flexible and enthusiastic clients, an architect who also project managed and a brilliant set of builders.
“I called Ric and the builders, Mike and Neil from Dane Developments, the Holy Trinity. They were incredible and we were so lucky to have them,” says Amanda.
The only hiccup during the project was when the window manufacturer failed to deliver on time.
“That held us up for 10 weeks and even then it was a nightmare to get the windows on site. No-one was willing to drive them down the narrow, muddy slope. In the end the builders did it with a JCB,” says Amanda.
The outside space was the last job on the list and includes a parking area, plant room, garden room, garage and lawns, set in half an acre. Now, the couple are now preparing to pack up after setting a new record.
“This is the longest we have stayed anywhere and that is because this is our dream home,” says Amanda. “It was built to make the most of the light and the views and it was designed for modern living. It is a very special house.”
*Bramhall Blenkharn Architects, Malton, www.brable.com; Builder, www.danedevelopments.co.uk
** The house, which is on the market for £799,995, has over 4,000 sq. ft of space. This includes an open plan kitchen dining room with sliding doors onto the balcony, an office area, cinema room, and two en-suite bedrooms. The kitchen overlooks the double -height sitting room below. The lower level includes the sitting room, games room, guest suite and master bedroom suite. Outside, there are gates leading onto a driveway and large parking area. There is also a separate garage, along with a garden and a garden room.
For further details on the property, contact Hunters, Scarborough, 01723 336760, www.hunters.com