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This $6.8M UK Mid-Century Masterpiece Blends Japanese Architecture With California Style – Robb Report

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A decade in the making, one of the UK’s most remarkable residences has hit the market – and you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed SoCal creations.

Dubbed Abbey Orchard House, the 5,175-square-foot estate, listed by Savills for £5.9 million ($6.8 million), is situated on about two acres between the River Ver and the old Cathedral of St. Albans. Surrounded by more than 150 enormous fruit trees, the modernist residence was built by architect Rogan Gale-Brown and today consists of five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a private riverfront and ample parking for up to 20 cars. However, it’s the butterfly-like silhouette and “green roof” that really turn this design on its head.

“Abbey Orchard House is a contemporary masterpiece in the heart of the town – undoubtedly one of the most individual and striking architectural houses I’ve had the privilege of being involved with,” Nick Ingle, head of Savills Harpenden, said in a statement. “It’s a work of art in itself and the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is second to none.”

Inside, the British Abbey Orchard House feels light and airy

Savills

Under the supervision of English Heritage, Gale-Brown spent the better part of seven years getting city approval for the plans he drew up for owners Chris Meadows and his wife Kayo. Once he got the green light to build on the protected land, it took three and a half years to complete the project. From above, the design mimics a wing shape and the structure uses the sedum-covered roof as a canopy to blend seamlessly into the environment. In fact, the house itself seems to disappear depending on your vantage point. “The location is second to none, discreetly positioned and only visible from the air,” adds Ingle.

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Abbey Orchard House

The house combines Japanese design with mid-century modern style

Savills

The Abbey Orchard House, which appeared in the British home renovation series Great designs in 2017, reflects the sensibilities of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Think geometric woodwork, built-in furniture and lots of brick. Internally, the layout is formed in an “H” shape and is based on Japanese design principles. Light maple gives a clean, streamlined look to the minimalist interiors, and expansive windows brighten up the spaces, helping to blur the link between indoors and out.

Bridging the two wings of the house is a central glass atrium. On one side are the five bedrooms and on the other side the common areas. A cinema room is equipped with a 120-inch screen, projector, surround sound system and blackout curtains. Elsewhere, the kitchen features a full range of Sub-Zero appliances. A shared double-sided, wood-burning fireplace serves as a link between the dining and living room areas. “The owners have created a truly breathtaking home that combines superior design and custom interiors – drawing on Japanese traditions and styles to connect with nature for a wonderfully calming ambiance.”

Click here to see all photos of Abbey Orchard House.

Abbey Orchard House

Savills