For sale: mid-century modern home

The dining area with Bertoia chairs
The dining area with Bertoia chairs
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The chance to live in an architectural gem that epitomises the best of mid-century modern design doesn’t come along very often.

The chance to live in an architectural gem that epitomises the best of mid-century modern design doesn’t come along very often.

Gamel House

Gamel House

In the case of Gammel House it’s a once in 31 years opportunity. The property’s owners, Barrie and Rosalie Hooper, bought the property in 1987 after a long search for “something different” in the Harrogate area.

The house, in the village of Scriven close to Knaresborough, was designed and built in 1967 by respected architect Bill Bradshaw for his own use.

Obviously inspired by Modernism, which saw use of bold geometric shapes and extensive use of glazing, he put his own spin on it, referencing the rural village setting.

It was lauded by his peers and also featured in Ideal Home magazine. Its name is derived from Gamellus, a king’s fowler in the time of Henry I, whose descendants lived at Scriven Park.

The house is stone-built with some timber cladding and features large ares of glazing

The house is stone-built with some timber cladding and features large ares of glazing

Barrie Hooper knew a good thing when he saw it and immediately understood how the building would enhance wellbeing.

He worked in Heal’s in London in the 1950s and 1960s when it was at the epicentre of modern design. He later ran his own company designing commercial interiors.

“Tucked away, it is a hidden masterpiece. When we saw it, we knew it was the one for us. There is no better house in the north of England,” he says.

He and Rosalie have added a small extension, designed by Bill Bradshaw, which could be a self-contained annexe.

The sitting room with Cassina sofa

The sitting room with Cassina sofa

They have also filled the property with design classics by the likes of Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia.

“We collect them in the way that other people collect antiques,” says Barrie, whose favourite room is the sitting room with its panoramic and ever-changing view over the garden.

“The house is glazed on three sides with 42 modular picture window panels so you have a view of the garden wherever you are in the house. It’s also a very flexible space that can adapt to changing needs. Bill Bradshaw was ahead of his time. He also used a lot of the components that were manufactured off-site and the house is very well insulated.”

Barrie and Rosalie Hooper are reluctantly selling to downsize.

The house is full of design classics.

The house is full of design classics.

The stone-built, partly timber clad house has a reception hall, living room, snug, kitchen and dining area, along with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Outside are large gardens and a double garage.

The right buyer may persuade Barrie to sell some of the furniture, though he may take some persuading to part with his super-comfy Cassina sofa and his Knoll chair.

The village of Scriven is less than half a mile from Knaresborough and 2.5 miles away from Harrogate.

The floor-to-ceiling windows are a main feature of this house

The floor-to-ceiling windows are a main feature of this house

All the rooms are light and bright thanks to large areas of glazing

All the rooms are light and bright thanks to large areas of glazing