About this property
Abbey Orchard House
Of the 300 plus drawings produced for Abbey Orchard House, over 100 were for the interior. These drawings were then turned into reality by an award winning joinery company who specialise in bespoke interiors for luxury homes and yachts throughout the world. The result as Kevin McCloud commented is remarkable and breath-taking. Home automation has been seamlessly integrated with this high quality fit out allowing heating, blinds, lights and electrical appliances to be activated and controlled from your phone. The light maple interior gives this large house (approaching 600m2) a cosy feel. And with triple glazing and underfloor heating through no matter what the season your comfort is assured.
After passing through a Japanese gate, the entrance reveals itself. Jasmine trailed over the pergola provides a magical scent as one crosses a stone bridge between flowing water. One enters through the massive maple double doors and into a 30m glazed atrium that connects the two wings of this remarkable house. The influence of Feng Shui plays its part as does the strong visual connection with the surrounding landscape. A gorgeous room for gatherings- full of warmth and harmony. Family and friends will be mesmerised by the warm glow that emanates from the massive wood burner that takes centre stage. And when the mercury rises the warmth of the wood burner will be replaced with the magnificence of the gardens that become part of the room simply by opening the massive glazed doors. As Kevin McCloud stated, this room hits you between the eyes! Poggenpohl and the architect combined their respective skills to create a kitchen that is practical and elegant, blending seamlessly with the adjacent dining room. A breakfast area is ideal for food on the go! A full range of Wold Sub Zero appliances complete this premium environment.
The double sided wood burner provides ambience for any meal. Combine this with views of the adjacent courtyard, bespoke table, dresser, chairs and lamp fitting and your guest will never want to leave! The engine room of the house, the computer controlled heating and hot water system makes efficient use of heat generated by gas, wood burners and fitted solar panels that endure excellent eco credentials and running costs of this spacious property are kept to a minimum. The snug is a perfect meeting place with seating for ten- this area is located to maximise on the morning light from the east.
Abbey Orchard House doesn’t have corridors. Instead these connecting spaces have been designed at double width to allow art or collections to be displayed with space to contemplate.
An integrated 120 screen combines with an Epsom HD projector, surround sound system and electronic blackout blinds. The room with blinds up is also an excellent gathering room for the kids with views up to the Abbey Church. Storage is also a key feature of this room- with ample space to ensure the house is free from clutter.
Abbey suite bedroom
This room at approximately 30m2 combines sitting area with bedroom. As one awakes and activates the electronic blinds- the 11th century Norman tower of the Abbey Church rises dramatically on the hill above. The large glazed doors open onto private verandas that flow onto the orchard planted with a wide variety of fruit trees. A huge range of fitted wardrobes and elegant bathroom complete this stunning bedroom suite.
River Suite Bedroom
Similar in size to the Abbey Suite, once again this room combines a sitting area with bedroom- but it’s the huge wood burner that makes winter something to look forward to! But summer is also a joy as the huge glass doors glide open to give access to this river side setting and surrounding private gardens. A walk in wardrobe offers plentiful storage but it is the bespoke Japanese bath and massive walk-in shower that complete this beautiful suite.
- St Albans City centre 0.5 miles and mainline station 1.1 miles (St Pancras International from 18 minutes), Harpenden town centre – 5.2 miles, M1 junction 6A – 5 miles, M25 junction 21A – 4 miles, London Luton Airport – 11.4 miles, London Heathrow Airport 27.5 miles (mileages approximate)
- Pondwicks Close is a highly regarded and exclusive cul de sac within St Albans, steeped in history and boasting a high concentration of historic listed buildings and locally listed buildings which is a key feature to the character and appearance of this conservation area of the city.
- The proximity to the Roman Verulamium Park, The Cathedral and River Ver, make this the perfect setting.
- St Albans offers an array of excellent schools, both private and state, and communication links by road and rail to London and the north and some of the best in the country.
- Designers Narrative
- A remarkable brand-new riverside residence in the heart of this Cathedral city. Abbey Orchard House, whilst new, already has a story to tell. Never previously developed – this huge site (in excess of 2.5 acres) sits close to the Roman town of Verulamium. But it was in medieval times that fertile site formed part of the Abbey of St Albans. This South facing site grew apples, pears and other fruits of fancy, thus it became known as the Abbey Orchard. Surrounded by substantial detached character houses to the east and west, the River Ver to the south and the majestic Abbey and Cathedral Church of St Albans to the North. The location is unparalleled in the Home Counties. English Heritage oversaw the planning and development of the site and insisted that any building had to be exceptional and blend into this historic and beautiful location. Although 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of St Albans Abbey Orchard House is discreetly positioned in such a way that it is only visible from the air. Approached through two sets of electronic gates down its own 130 metre private driveway privacy is assured.
- Grand Designs
- Broadcast September 2017
- This house is one of the truly great – Grand Designs
- During his visits Kevin McCloud was wooed by this house. As he approached the house on his final visit he drew breath and said: Wow what a house, surrounded by majestic giant trees this extraordinary shaped house is almost lost in the green. As he entered the house he continued: This is remarkable, inside it is breath-taking, the light is so soft you can almost touch it. Every surface glows and is pristine. I’m quite overwhelmed by all of this. Architecturally he described the house as: Organically inspired, geometric craftsmanship that hits you between the eyes. Futuristic and historic-it’s hugely successful.
- Abbey Orchard House is undoubtedly one of the most individual and outstanding architectural houses built in England in the 21st century. It is modern living that combines craftsmanship that these days is only found in luxury hotels or yachts that creates an ambiance that calms the mind and as Kevin McCloud mentioned, Provides space for contemplation. After a hard day this house will put everything into perspective with its connection with nature and calm organic interior. The two massive wood burning stoves (in the lounge/dining and main bedroom) provide not only sustainable sources of heat that power both the underfloor heating and hot water but also the comfort that the natural flames bring to any room. With triple glazing throughout and computer controlled heating systems provide an outstanding levels of comfort with the knowledge that environmentally this house has a light footprint. Winter and summer this house performs. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer but always full of light and calm reflection. Something that is rarely found in a house of this size and sophistication.
- EPC Rating: B
- Tenure: Freehold
- Council Tax Band: H