Continuing the modern theme of this week with a look at this Huf House in Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire which is on the market with The Modern House for £3,600,000. Now I’m not usually drawn to the idea of living in a super modern glass house but there was something about this one which nestles into the trees and almost disappears among them – the steel pillars of the house mirroring the trunks of the silver birches – that intrigued me and made me think it was worth a closer look.
Again we come back to Charlotte Perriand, whose design for the French ski resort of Les Arcs, consisted of buildings that nestled into the mountain but also had glass on both sides so you could see the landscape not just around but also through the building itself. This is the same idea and while I worry that it might feel cold on the inside it works beautifully from the outside.
Huf Haus was founded in 1912 and works on the principle that luxury and eco living should not be mutually exclusive. While the houses are pre-fabricated in Germany and built on site each one is designed according to the owner’s specifications so the overall style is similar but each house is different. They are now available as zero energy buildings with triple glazing, super heat insulation, underfloor heating and a highly efficient ventilation system.
This particular house spreads over 4,600 sq ft with five bedrooms and a double height living room, which is incredibly dramatic. For me it works as there are so many mature trees in the garden. Without that it might feel stark and unwelcoming.
But you can see how the owners have worked to soften the inside with lots of velvet chairs in that warm tobacco colour (look out for that this season in both fashion and interiors – it’s the new camel and it’s going to be everywhere). There are also white leather sofas, rugs and lamps in different materials.
As always it’s a question of personal taste and I like the juxtaposition between a super modern building and really old furniture but the glass and leather, while a more conventional choice for this type of building also works and much of the furniture was custom made for the house.
Clearly much of the colour will come from the outside as there are barely any walls to paint so it’s about adding colours that reflect and enhance the views beyond – blue skies and autumn leaves to name but two. And while you might not live in a Huf Haus, you might have a glassy extension or a large loft window. Even if you don’t you can – to coin a cliche – bring the outside in by using these colours. Not for nothing does a yellow painted window frame make us feel like the sun is shining all day. And, having spoken about how yellow is pulling me for the last year, I will shortly be making an update to The Mad House in just that very shade so keep your eyes peeled for that…
But before we leave this extraordinary house – and I’m already imagining morning coffee on that balcony all year round watching the seasons change, I leave you with this fabulous bathroom. I’m not sure I would be brave enough to dance about in this space without any curtains but I like the idea of freedom that it represents.
What do you think? Anyone for Huf?