Ghost House, Moreton Paddox, Warwickshire
Occupying the site of a former manor in Moreton Paddox, the house sits at the far end of a small hamlet, less than ten miles from Stratford upon Avon, Warwick and Leamington Spa & 22 miles north of Great Tew. Cantilevered over the three-and-a-half-metre-high slope of the plot, Ghost House offers an ethereal silhouette, barely visible from the long private lane on the approach.
The architectural design draws distinct parallels with the oeuvre of Tadao Ando and his tenacious exploration of concrete and light to cultivate a visually rich, modern aesthetic. The resulting composition is a minimalist assemblage of geometric forms and natural materials, where glass and steel are paired with rectangular volumes built almost entirely of concrete cast in-situ. Encapsulating the tenets of the Brutalist movement, block structures are built to monolithic proportions, with visually linear profiles evoking the influence of the Modernist heavyweights.
A grid of slender, black, steel-framed fenestration appears to float in a pool of dark water, reminiscent of Ando’s Museum SAN in the mountains of Wonju, South Korea and Suntory museum in Osaka. The dyed water creates an ephemeral mirror of the architecture and a wonderful sense of movement as the light changes throughout the course of the day. A central pathway and staircase lead down to one of the two subterranean sunken courtyards.
Internally, it is a building of two halves. The primary entrance leads directly to a spectacular living space, completely free of load-bearing columns to ensure a free-flow of space. Ceiling heights of three metres contribute to an overall sense of volume. Loosely arranged in an open-plan layout, a beautifully finished slab of nero marquina marble forms a central kitchen by Poggenpohl, flanked by the dining and lounge areas at either end. Local Cotswold sand has been added to the structural skin to create a warmer hue; concrete floors have been polished; sockets and fittings are carefully detailed within the casting. Elegant channels of recessed lighting run overhead, meticulously positioned to add perfect symmetry to the space.
Perhaps the most impressive feature on this level is the wall of full-height Crittal-style windows, which merge the indoor and outdoor space and invite light to flood through, casting painterly shards throughout. The rear sunken courtyard garden provides a secluded suntrap for summer lunches; appropriately minimalist in design, with strategically placed reflective pools and two tall cherry trees.
Identical folded-steel staircases, a nod to the sweeping staircases of country houses, lead up to the principle bedroom and en-suite bathroom, finished in high-quality materials and sanitaryware. The stripped-back minimalist aesthetic follows through into this space, drawing a natural focus to materials, the form of the building and the physical experience of the architecture. Four large roof lights subtly guide the calm mood of the room, in a gentle play of light and shade.
Two further bedrooms are positioned on the lower floor, each with en-suite bathrooms, large dressing rooms and a private internal courtyard providing excellent natural light and connection to the outside. A cinema room is also positioned on the lower level, a playful room where Béton brut walls sit alongside 1930s Hollywood-style, plush red armchairs and lamp-lit tables. The second internal courtyard measures 25m.
The local area offers a good selection of daily amenities in the neighbouring villages of Wellsbourne and Kineton, with Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Shipston-on-Stour providing a broader selection. Soho Farmhouse is approximately 28 miles to the south.
The area is renowned for good schooling options, in Warwick (Warwick School and King’s High), Leamington Spa (Arnold Lodge and Kingsley) and Stratford upon Avon (Warwick Prep and The Croft).
The mainline train station at Leamington Spa provides direct services to London Marylebone in approximately 70 minutes and Birmingham in around 30 minutes. There is easy access to the M40, with London around 90 minutes away and Heathrow Airport a 75 minute drive. Birmingham International Airport is 30 minutes away by car.
Ghost House, Moreton Paddox, Warwickshire
NEAREST STATIONSDistances are straight line measurements from the centre of the postcode
- Leamington Spa Station6.7 miles
About the agent
The Modern House is an estate agency that helps people live in more thoughtful and beautiful ways. We believe in design as a powerful force for good. Inspired by the principles of modernism, we represent design-led homes across the UK which celebrate light, space and a truth to materials. Esquire credits The Modern House with "rewriting the rulebook on estate agency" and GQ voted us "one of the best things in the world".
Founded in 2005 by two former design-editors, M
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