A Dream Home
Ed Connor purchased an overgrown plot of land adjacent to the 18th fairway of Cooden Beach Golf Course, at Bexhill-on-Sea, with grand ideas for large a chalet-style bungalow. Here Ed explains the details of creating the ultimate home.
“As a property developer of 10 plus years, I wanted to design and build a modern yet comfortable family home – one that envelopes you with a need to stay, rather than the minimalist look, lacking character. So, we went back to planning, and after 60+ sketches we selected our design and went with the three-colour rule, integrating quartzite rock from Northern Ireland, black cladding and white render.
The stonework was a feat in itself as every piece was individually split on site to give a square formation rather than round boulder, then dry stacked and back bonded. The stonework alone took four months to complete. My family love being outside all year round so felt it was important that the design reflected this in its live in/out house. Even when it’s cold and the doors are shut you feel as if you’re outside thanks to low profile window frames buried into the structure, which provides uninterrupted views across the golf course from any part of the house.
The house is a galvanised steel structure with concrete infill that is cantilevered all the way around upstairs. Effectively the house is a big box sitting on top of a smaller box. This needed huge amounts of groundworks and engineered design. This larger upper floor achieved a sheltered ground floor when the house is open, a 4.5m cantilevered balcony facing the 18th fairway, and a larger floor plan for upstairs bedrooms, without compromising the external space downstairs.
This also gives the house a true sense of visual depth. The south-west facing balcony looks up and across the 18th green from which you can soak of the last rays of the day, with Beachy Head as a backdrop – which is why we installed a wine fridge and a bar in the master bedroom!
The swimming pool, which is a main feature of the property, had to be built before the house was constructed. To achieve the ‘oasis’ look with stone from Bali and water reflecting around the house, we wanted the pool to be as close to the house as possible. This required intricate design of the foundations.
The interior design was created from mood boards using images and ideas pulled from the internet and places we have seen around the world.
The glass staircase was chosen to minimalise the visual impact as you walk through the house. This has been engineered so the treads hang from the cantilevered landing rather than being supported from the floor — which increases the usable ground floor space beneath it.
The kitchen was designed and manufactured by Watson & Gabb, who specialise in high-end finishes and furniture for incredible city penthouses, yachts, and one-off designs. The island is constructed using a liquid brass embedded with an actual sting ray pelt to give you the texture and finish it has. The tower units are sprayed in a metallic iron paint, then patinated by hand. The finish changes from every angle. The kitchen is designed to entertain with its pocket door gin bar, raised island, integrated tower wine fridge and commercial built in ice machine.
All the lighting has been designed and manufactured in Holland. In this house lighting defines the spaces within the open plan design. Again, we used metal and glass to achieve this.
In the garden we created areas for different occasions. We have a gas mains firepit area for breakfast or drinks at the evenings. Here too the bench is cantilevered and compliments the design of the house. Then there’s the pool area for relaxing during the day. It’s an inviting garden designed for extreme low maintenance, with loads of depth.
Of course, this house would not be complete without it’s 21st century gadgets like the custom monitor audio sound system which turns this home into a party palace. There’s HD/4k CCTV system, a pivot fingerprint front door; a one-of-a-kind electric main gate with video intercoms for both upstairs and downstairs; a 4K 120inch cinema room with a Bowers & Wilkins sounds system; 14 zone underfloor heating with geo location — including the garage which is set out as a gym; air-conditioned climate controlled bedrooms; and electric opening skylights.
The project overall was a challenge due to the amount of detail involved and took ten months to completion; the landscaping took a further six months, which included finishing of the swimming pool. My aim was to create something totally unique, avoiding off-the-shelf products and maximising space.”
This property is on the market with Knight Frank for £1,750,000, contact Ross Davies.