Sharon Dale reports. Pictures by Jim Varney.
This award-winning contemporary home brought modern architecture to Sandsend and quickly became a talking point.
Locals and visitors alike debated the design of the striking seafront building, which has a prime spot by the beach in the coastal village, near Whitby. The property is now a hot topic of conversation once again thanks to its “For Sale” sign.
The 4,000sq ft duplex comes with a commercial property below, which generates a healthy income. It was built for owners Dr Ian Suckling and his wife, Moya, and is on the market for £1.3m with Carter Jonas.
The couple are leaving to move closer to their family and are doing so with much sadness. They know that the four-bedroom home and its sensational views cannot be replicated.
The sale has already excited a lot of interest from would-be buyers. Properties rarely come onto the market in Sandsend and the charming, sought-after village is a hotspot for wealthy second home owners.
Estate agent Louise Hirst of Carter Jonas says: “It's only just gone on the market and we have already had a lot of enquiries and there is some very serious interest.
“It is an amazing place. It commands attention and the interiors are beautiful with unrivalled views towards Whitby Abbey and out to sea.”
Designed by Malton-based architect Ric Blenkharn, the home is a bold 21st century addition to Sandsend that makes no attempt to imitate the old cottages, mid-century semis and newer homes already there.
The semi-circular home and GP surgery below was endorsed at the prestigious LABC (local authority building control) awards, where it won the Building Excellence Award for the best new house in Yorkshire.
Architect Ric, co-founder of Malton-based practice Bramhall Blenkharn, says his inspiration came from the setting, overlooking the North Sea.
“The building is deliberately designed to be robust as it is set in the harsh maritime climate. It was conceived almost as a sea fort with deeply recessed windows that give the impression of the window openings being carved out of a chunk of stone,” he says.
The project came about in an attempt to solve two property problems. Condemned by NHS England as “unfit for purpose”, the old GP surgery in Sandsend was under threat of closure and Dr Suckling was trying to find a way to keep the service running. At the same time, he and Moya were struggling to find a self-build plot after years of searching.
“Ian came up with the idea of constructing a new surgery with an apartment for us on top. The old surgery was a bungalow but it had no proper toilet facilities and no disabled access and renovation wasn't a viable option,” says Moya.
The couple, who owned the existing building, met Ric at the Homebuilding and Renovating Show in Harrogate, where he was manning the Royal Institute of British Architects helpdesk.
“He came to Sandsend, we gave him a brief and the next week he returned with a model to show us. It was amazing, interesting and nautical. He had listened and acted on everything we told him so the building reflected us, the way we live and our love of the sea,” says Moya.
Scarborough Borough Council gave the go-ahead for the building. K&D was the main contractor and the build went smoothly,
“The builders and Paddy who project managed were great, especially as it wasn't straightforward. Every piece of stone had to be drawn, laser cut then fitted together like a jigsaw because of the curves,” says Dr Suckling.
The steel-framed property, which is clad in concrete blocks and faced with ashlar stone, took 18 months to construct and fit out and is toasty warm thanks to triple and double glazing, insulation and underfloor heating.
The Sucklings describe the design as “amazing, interesting and nautical and reflective of the way we live and our love of the sea,”
The main door opens onto an entrance hall with a full-height window at the end, which means you walk into the property and look straight out to the ocean.
The hall also has a linear rooflight to illuminate one wall for paintings by the Sucklings daughter, who is an artist.
The entrance level contains a utility room, a master bedroom suite with dressing room and en-suite bathroom and two further ensuite bedrooms and study/fourth bedroom and a cloakroom. There is also access to a double garage and there are further parking spaces outside.
The upper floor is one enormous living space split into sitting, kitchen and dining areas.
Full-height glazing and a wraparound balcony give panoramic views across Sandsend beach and out to sea.
“The top floor feels like you're on a cruise liner and the views are magnificent,” says Dr Suckling, who served in the Royal Navy.
Moya designed the interiors with help from Paddy and builder Rob Davies.
Discreet white kitchen units are complemented by a bespoke island and the extractor unit made by the builders.
The dining table was made by local blacksmith James Godbold and the Eames chairs are from John Lewis. The colour palette is largely shades of grey and white. “It's calming and reflects the colour of the sea,” says Moya, who splashed £4,000 Scabetti chandelier made up of a shoal of porcelain fish.
The interiors are beautiful and care has been taken to ensure that they don't try to compete with those breathtaking views.
*Pictures by Jim Varney, Aberration film and photography, www.af.vu. Architects, www.brable.com.
*This architect designed property is £1.3m and includes a four-bedroom home and a commercial property that is let bringing in a healthy income.
The home has a lower level has three bedrooms, three ensuite bathrooms, a study/fourth bedroom and utility room. The upper floor is a large open-plan space with magnificent views.
There is a double garage and a parking spaces. For details contact Carter Jonas, tel:01904 558200, www.carterjonas.co.uk