This dramatic, beautiful home is one of the finest modern homes on the Kent coast – or at least it will be, once it's been built.
No, this picture doesn’t show a home in the hills above Los Angeles, or a new house on the Wentworth Estate. Instead, it’s a house in a prime spot on the Kent coast at Hythe – and despite what the evidence of your eyes might tell you, it doesn’t yet exist. And it may never: the house will cost £5.5 million when finished, but prospective buyers are free to just buy the plot (for £1.5 million) and create something entirely different here.
This home is called Ancona, but for now it exists only in the architect’s plans and the mind of the developer, Kelly Penson, whose idea is to create a light-filled home that’s environmentally friendly, sustainable, low-energy home.
The property brochure doesn’t tuck such things into an appendix at the end – it’s right at the start, promising a home boasting ‘cantilevered terraces with earthy, wild flower sedum grass roof coverings, paired with Austrian triple glazing and under-floor heating throughout, an 8kW solar PV system, a comprehensive MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) system throughout the property utilising geothermal temperatures for heat in the winter and cooling in the summer, all controlled via your tablet or phone.’ Phew.
The idea is that this huge house (6,740sq ft, or possibly over 8,000sq ft if the optional garage and cellar are added in) will cost no more to run than a standard family home – a laudable goal, although we have to wonder whether, at this end of the property market, how much of a draw modest running costs will be. Not that the company’s goal isn’t praiseworthy in and of itself: the EcoMansions philosophy is to build ‘environmentally friendly, climate conscious homes to enjoy and to hand on to relatives or future owners for decades to come’.
Among the more tangible draws for buyers will be features such as the glass walls, helical staircase and top-notch wine cellar. None of which exists outside the CGI images on this page, which are so bewilderingly realistic that we studied them for a long time trying to figure out whether or not they were in fact real. We even contacted Savills for confirmation – yes, they said, this is computer wizardry; but they’d had the same conversation as well since they couldn’t quite believe it either.
The proposed house is a beautiful and clever building; it’ll be fascinating to see whether it ends up being built as planned, or tweaked, or whether the eventual buyer will want to take an entirely different approach.
One thing won’t change, no matter what sort of house ends up in this spot: the views over the gardens and adjacent golf course, and the convenient location on the outskirts of Hythe, around the bay from Dungeness and Dymchurch, and close enough to Ashord International (a 25-minute drive) that commuting to London on the HS1 train is a real possibility.