House with £2m wow factor

On first glance the narrow country lane linking Old Buckenham and Snetterton in south Norfolk appears to be the same as many other anonymous winding roads in that part of the world.

On first glance the narrow country lane linking Old Buckenham and Snetterton in south Norfolk appears to be the same as many other anonymous winding roads in that part of the world.

But look a little closer and this road becomes considerably more memorable - playing host to first one and now two of the most distinctive homes in the East, maybe even the whole of Britain.

In 2003 Sir Tom Beevor took home the top prize at the Royal Institute of British Architects' eastern awards for The Old Woodyard, an environmentally-friendly house he built on stilts.

And just down the Hargham road, released on to the market this week, is another home with a high “wow” factor.

On sale for £2m, with two-and-a-half years of work finally completed, is Wood's End - a house that justifies the estate agent's claim that it is “one of the most exciting new homes created in recent years”.

It may feature only four bedrooms and be set in just two acres of land, but for those wanting a house that will take guests' breath away this property justifies every penny.

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The first thing visitors will notice are the moss sedum-clad nine interlinking curved roofs, the huge windows that run almost the width and height of each room and the red cedar timber framing of the parts of the building that remain.

Developer Amanda Barrington, who mostly designs for monastic communities, said she wanted the property to have a spiritual, “Zen-like” feel to it.

“It is a really really special site with water running through it and lots of sunlight,” she said.

“It just has a special feel to it, it's very tranquil. I've spent 20 years developing sites but this is the first I've built from scratch and it needed to be absolutely right.

“I imagine it will attract the sort of city executive who wants somewhere really special to show off to their friends at weekends, or maybe a record producer or someone in advertising, someone who really appreciates design.

“Or maybe it will be a middle-aged couple whose children have moved on and now want to downsize but want somewhere that's attractive, fun and environmentally aware.”

Although there are no solar panels or reed beds like at the Beevors' property - the Wood's End site used to be part of the Hargham Hall estate until it was sold off to pay for The Old Woodyard development - it does contains many energy-saving features.

The glass used is efficient, allowing the heat in during the summer but preventing the cold from entering in winter.

The roofs work in the opposite way, preventing heat from escaping in the winter but allowing it out when it's warm.

“This is the future for homes,” said Miss Barrington. “Architecturally in this country we're far behind Europe.

“This is one of a few properties that reaches level nine on the European scale of energy efficiency but I think everyone is going to have to start thinking this way in the future.”

For more details on the property or to arrange a viewing contact London agents Harrods Estates on 020 7225 6863 or Bury St Edmunds agents Bedfords on 01284 769999.