Architect: A-ZERO architects
This truly remarkable house, set in approximately two acres of gardens in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside, was designed by the London-based architects A-Zero. The property, created from a former agricultural building, now offers over 4,600 sq ft (430 sq m) of internal space making it ideally suited as a large family home. It is located two miles outside of Leighton Buzzard, an attractive market town that is just 30 minutes by train from London Euston. Although currently arranged as a five-bedroom house, there is a significant amount of undeveloped internal space over two storeys that could provide further bedrooms or alternatively could function as work space, a gym area or a range of other functions.
A-Zero are well-known for their elegant, sustainable designs and The Architect’s Journal, which published the project when it was completed in 2014 outlined the energy efficiency of the house, pointing out that “heating is provided from ground collectors below the field in front of the house used in combination with a ground source heat pump”. There is also a Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system in place. Currently, the owners collect money from the heating system rather than it costing them. The Architect’s Journal further described perhaps the most notable architectural feature of the property, the“fully internalized oak frame built inside the cow shed’s retained steel frame”, adding that “the two storey home is clad with locally sourced British larch”.
The L-shaped house is positioned around a large courtyard space on one side which provides parking for numerous cars. The other façade is largely glazed on the lower floor and looks out to the south over the surrounding gardens and fields. Currently the accommodation is arranged to include four bedrooms (two with en suite bathrooms), a study and an open plan kitchen / living /dining room as well as a separate reception room and utility room. One wing of the house, however, has been left largely undeveloped (currently used as storage) and could easily provide further bedrooms, studio space, office space, garaging, gym, holiday let or any further facilities that owners may want. Drawings for various designs for the possible development of this area can be provided upon request.
Perhaps the most impressive space is the open plan kitchen / living /dining room. It is an uplifting, light-filled area that features a wonderful exposed oak frame, floor to ceiling glazing, integrated audio and a bespoke kitchen. The second reception room is a more cosy space with a fireplace. Upstairs the bedrooms all have vaulted ceilings (with extra mezzanine levels in the smaller rooms) and lead on to a wide, meticulously-detailed circulation space. Also of note is the west facing study. For a fuller list of many of the features and attributes of the house see the History section.
The land extends to approximately two acres, much of which is landscaped garden. This features sandstone paving, a vegetable garden and an integrated watering system. A large paddock (approximately four acres) is also included within the sale price. An area for stabling has been designated if need be, with ducting for power and water already available.
The property can be found in a quiet corner of the Aylesbury Vale, where Buckinghamshire meets Bedfordshire. It sits alongside two neighbouring properties surrounded by open countryside. One of the main attractions of the house is that it is located in an idyllic setting, yet is only a short distance from numerous facilities. It is a short walk to Rushmere Country Park (which has a popular café), and a short drive (two miles) to the attractive market town of Leighton Buzzard, which has numerous services including a train station that runs services to London Euston in half an hour. For further facilities, Bletchley and Milton Keynes are also within easy driving distance.
The nearest village, Great Brickhill, has an “outstanding” primary school and pre-school in the village and sits in the Aylesbury grammar school catchment areas and there are other numerous well-regarded schools (both state and private) in the area.
The property is offered chain free.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
The house at Bragenham has been published in a number of places including this extensive feature on the house in Dezeen (click here).
A list of notable features can be found below:
- The house won a Highly Commended Design Award at the Aylesbury Vale Design Awards
- The energy efficiency of the building is exceptional, and is close to Passivhaus standards. The owners are currently in credit on a monthly basis in relation to the energy consumption.
- The house benefits from Mechanical Vapour Heat Recovery system with integrated summer cooling.
- Underfloor heating throughout ground floor and bathrooms with central control including online control facility.
- There is an integrated guttering system
- The original 1950s clock from the former farm has been re-used in the building, as have numerous other materials and features such as the concrete window frames.
- The kitchen features a pocket door system, a bespoke Corian unit and engineered oak flooring.
- There is an integrated steam oven, double oven and microwave as well as Fisher & Paykel drawer dishwasher and Liebherr Fridge Freezer.
- There is an integrated wine fridge
- There is Sonos wireless sound system throughout and Cat-5 cabling.
- The building has a guarantee from The Federation of Master Builders
A-ZERO are a young, award winning, RIBA chartered practice, founded in 2010. They focus on creating buildings which are both responsive and responsible. By “responsive” A-ZERO mean creating spaces that are influenced by their environment and cultural context, whilst still responding to the idiosyncrasies of their owners and occupants. By “responsible” they mean designing and procuring buildings in interesting ways that won’t have adverse impacts on the environment. A-ZERO work closely and collaboratively with clients and councils to deliver environmentally focused projects including ultra-low-energy residential new builds and refurbishments; mixed-use developments and community centres.