A stunning Grade II* listed landmark detached widely considered to be the first and finest Modernist style house built in Britain with three wings leading off the hexagonal core.
High and Over is widely considered to be the first and finest house to be built in the Modernist style in Britain. It was designed in 1929 by Amyas Connell, who later became part of the pioneering architectural practice Connell, Ward & Lucas, for Bernard Ashmore, the then Professor of Archaeology at London University. The Grade II* listed property is now regarded as one of the most important buildings to be built in the country in the 20th century and provoked much debate and controversy with Sir John Betjeman commenting on Metroland at the time saying In 1931 all Buckinghamshire was scandalised by the appearance, high above Amersham, of a concrete house in the shape of a letter Y'. It was built for a young professor, by a young architect Amyas Connell. - I am the home of a 20th century family, it proclaimed that loves air and sun and open country. It started a style called moderne.
As an iconic piece of architectural history the house as featured in many famous publications from Pevsner's Buildings of England' to Taschens World Architecture' as well as appearing in television and film such as Poirot'.
High and Over, often referred to locally as the Aeroplane House' due to its three wings leading off the
hexagonal reception hall was sympathetically divided in 1962 and was occupied as two separate dwellings until 2008 when it was reunited into one substantial property offering extensive and flexible accommodation over its three levels. In recent years the current owners have undertaken a comprehensive programme of refurbishment to restore much of the property to its former glory. With a fine attention to research and detail many of the original features have been reinstated including restoring the original ground floor configuration with its glazed doors and ceiling light boxes in the principal reception rooms. There is a wonderful first impression on arrival as you enter the polished metal front doors into the hexagonal reception hall with its circular gallery above, which encapsulates the splender and style of the building.
Folding casement doors open onto the three principal reception rooms and terrace allowing a flow of rooms for both family living and entertaining. A sweeping staircase in the turret' leads to the upper floors. An inner hallway leads to the kitchen and back staircase used by servants in its heyday.
The three reception rooms comprise the triple aspect drawing room with a fireplace, the library again triple aspect with fitted display unit and ornate steel radiators and the formal dining room. The custom made kitchen/breakfast room with stainless steel trim and work surfaces incorporates a La Cornue range cooker with extractor above, integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher. There are feature port hole windows to the far wall.
The matching first floor hexagonal landing, with its circular gallery provides access to an adaptable combination of bedrooms and laundry room. For example bedroom five could become a dressing room or en suite to the main bedroom and bedroom two could be enlarged by removing the partition wall. There are two further bedrooms accessed from the back staircase. The top floor has further rooms including a study and additional lounge which provides access to about 1000 sqft of part covered roof terrace for both relaxation and entertaining offering commanding far reaching views over the roof tops of Old Amersham and Misbourne Valley beyond.
The property still retains about 1.7 acres of its original gardens and grounds with a gravel driveway and turning area in front of the main entrance door with a spur leading to the large lower ground basement store rooms. There is also an additional detached garage with planning permission (see note). The beautiful landscaped gardens are as originally landscaped with areas of terrace and steps down to the circular swimming pool with extensive areas of lawn and a lightly wooded backdrop.
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The stunning design and Grade II* status makes this an iconic masterpiece of the Modernist movement.Nick Pounce