Country houses for sale

An ‘invisible house’ in Warwickshire that is the first of its kind in the UK — and you’ll either love it or hate it

If there were ever a property to cause contention, Invisible House is surely it.

A number of questions immediately spring to mind when looking at Invisible House. One. How many birds fly into the mirrored walls on a daily basis? Two. How do you clean all those reflective surfaces? And three. Is it possible to live here without ever feeling like you’re not in a dystopian episode of Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ — or, if you’re easily affected by psychological horror movies, the sequel to ‘When a Stranger Calls’?

Even its name carries a certain undertone of unease. But let’s stick to the positives for now. Invisible House is currently on the market via Knight Frank with a guide price of £2 million.

Designed by Steve Smith, owner of the award-winning property, Ghost House, and Phill Shepherd of BNP Architects, Invisible House is an ‘exceptional piece of modern architecture’, as selling agents Knight Frank note. And they’re not wrong.

It is exceptional. After all, the deconstructed single-storey dwelling is completely clad in smoked mirrored glass, where eight separate ‘pavilions’ are connected via a series of glazed walkways (think the hall of mirrors from your local funfair, but with fewer screaming children). It’s worlds away from anything we’ve featured before, and it certainly won’t be for everyone.

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The property was granted build permission under the ‘Para 79’ category — more of which you can read about here – but essentially, it is a way for people to build a house in an area that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to, so long as the dwelling is unique and of ‘ground breaking’ architecture which enhances the immediate setting.

The mirror-clad exterior is designed to reflect the foliage from the surrounding single-stem birch trees, creating the illusion of a house that ceases to exist. There are pros and cons to this. Great if you want to live amongst nature, where barriers blur. Bad if you like curtains and cosy spaces.

The property is situated along one of the private drives in the exclusive Moreton Paddox community, about eight miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Leamington Spa. The village of Moreton Morrell is close by, with a primary school, parish church, tennis club and local pub.

For the commuter, transport links are excellent with Birmingham International Airport just 25 miles away, quick access onto the M40 for Birmingham and the West Midlands and intercity train services on the Chiltern line available from Warwick, Warwick Parkway, Leamington Spa and Banbury.

For all its accolades — of which there are many – there is something unnerving about Invisible House. Is it that the clinical, surgery-white interiors challenge everything we think a house should be — cosy, soft and somewhere where you can close yourself away from the outside world? Or will we look back in ten years’ time, from our proverbial glass houses and realise that this was the future of living all along?

As the age old adage goes, ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’, but maybe those of us in regular houses shouldn’t throw them either, and instead celebrate the diverse, challenging architecture emerging in our countryside.

We’ll leave the ultimate verdict up to you.

Invisible House is currently on the market via Knight Frank with a guide price of £2 million — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details. 


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