Dorset Magazine speak to the owner of the Huf Haus on Chesil Beach
PUBLISHED: 10:51 19 June 2014
Designed to provide a panoramic view of Chesil Beach, a rare opportunity to buy a Huf Haus on Dorset’s magnificent coastline is causing quite a stir. Helen Stiles talked to its owner about how they managed to find such an idyllic spot
When a little 1920s timber chalet by the sea came on the market in 2009 it caused a lot of interest. The building was nothing particularly special but the plot was to die for. Situated on a hillside a mile or so outside Burton Bradstock, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and surrounded by National Trust land, the humble house had few neighbours and enjoyed uninterrupted views over Lyme Bay from Portland in the East to Devon in the West.
The chalet was eventually bought by a family from London who had been seeking a plot on the South Coast for some time. But finding - and buying - the plot was just the beginning of a long process for the new owners to realise their dream home. “The planners insisted that we kept within the footprint of the original house and build no higher. Also because the land was protected we had to landscape using only native plants and trees, though we did get a lot of advice with sorting this from West Dorset District Council and the National Trust.” This process included removing the Spanish bluebells that were growing there and replacing them with native varieties.
When he saw an eco-friendly Huf Haus featured on the television programme, Grand Designs, the owner thought that it seemed to be a perfect solution for his plot as a Huf Haus would blend in well with the natural landscape whilst at the same time maximising the sea views.
“I contacted the company in Germany, though I wasn’t sure they would be interested as all the Huf Hauses I had seen were huge and this plot was small. However they were very interested because the houses they build in Germany are usually smaller than the ones they build here, and they are used to dealing with stringent planning laws.”
Peter Huf, a partner and architect in the firm, who is based in the UK suggested excavating a basement storey which could also house all the equipment needed to run the eco heat and light features. Peter came up with a design for a four-bedroom house which fitted within the chalet’s existing footprint and height requirements and planning permission was granted in May 2010.
When designing a Huf Haus, every last detail has to be decided in advance so that the dimensions can be calculated exactly and manufactured to order. The sections are then delivered on site and painstakingly slotted together. This covers every aspect of the house, from the basic wall and ceiling dimensions to the positioning of plug sockets and light switches - a process which was completed in a three-day ‘fit out’ meeting in Germany.
A few months later the foundations were dug and precast concrete slabs created the basement area. A month later all the sections for the Huf Haus arrived. “They slotted together like Lego, it came together unbelievably fast. It took just six days,” said the owner.
The eco credentials for the building are impressive. The roof has a bank of Solar PV panels, which more than covers the electricity required for the house. Heating is underfloor and is powered by a heat pump in the basement. Triple glazing throughout ensures that the house stays warm and it is super energy efficient.
Once built the property was marketed as the world’s first Huf Haus holiday rental. People from all over the globe came to stay. In fact it became so popular that the owners had to book out weeks in advance just so that they could guarantee themselves some time in their own home.
With increasing family commitments in London the owner has decided to put the Huf Haus in this heavenly location on the market. “I am sad that I have to sell,” he said, “I will really miss the views from inside the house - they are truly amazing.”
Where: Burton End, Burton Bradstock Dorset DT6 4RN
Location: Burton End occupies a stunning position above Chesil Beach and is just under 2 miles from the village of Burton Bradstock and 5 miles from Bridport.
The Property: Built in 2010 this remarkable example of a Huf Haus capitalises on its commanding position and offers truly magnificent views of Dorset’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast. The property, which is a short walk from the beach and close to the South West Coast Path, is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Accommodation: Open plan ground floor living space with floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic sea views. Reception room features Boley wood-burner and oak floor. The Leicht kitchen is fitted with granite worktop and Neff appliances. Doors lead to large external decked area. Bedroom 4 on the ground floor has sea views. On the first floor there are a further 3 bedrooms, an en-suite shower room and bathroom. The master bedroom and bedroom 2 have panoramic sea views and bedroom 3 has a mezzanine level fitted with bunk bed and ladder. The lower ground floor features a further bathroom, games room and cinema room (which could be utilised as bedrooms 5 and 6). There is also a store room and plant room which doubles as the utility room.
Gross internal area: 272 sq m / 2,938 sq ft
Technology: Sonos surround sound, Sky, Cat 7 cabling throughout, Broadband.
Eco features: Triple glazing, solar panels providing income, underfloor central heating provided by air source heat pump.
Gardens and grounds: Set in 1.25 acres the property is approached via a private drive and five-bar gate the property abuts National Trust land to the south and east. There is a large decked area wrapping around the coastal side of the property. The garden is mainly laid to lawn with a range of attractive native trees and shrubs which also provide a good degree of privacy. A gate in the garden provides access to the beach a 10 minute walk away.
Price: £1.8 million
Agents: Savills Wimborne: 01202 856800 | Knight Frank LLP, Sherborne: 01935 812236