Take a look through the keyhole of this luxury new build in Hadley Wood
PUBLISHED: 12:48 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:48 05 February 2018
Compared to an aria by its developer, an opulent new build in Hadley Wood certainly hits the high notes. Pat Bramley takes a tour of the £5.5m trophy home
A famous footballer is rumoured to be among potential buyers of a palatial £5.5m new property in Hadley Wood. The suburb on the Hertfordshire border is a hotspot for the rich and famous, particularly millionaire stars of Arsenal and Tottenham. As well as being handy for the clubs’ training grounds in London Colney and Hotspur Way, it’s only a short supercar ride from the centre of London yet close enough to the Green Belt for country pursuits.
In the summer of 2016, Premiership players Danny Welbeck and Erik Lamela were among guests at the marketing launch of a £3m penthouse on a Hadley Wood development built by Artemi and Gibbs. The 3,000 sq ft apartment was being sold by Statons, the same agent who is marketing an 8,000 sq ft house by Amara Property. Both are architect designed trophy homes for those ready to pay whatever it costs to get everything on their wish list.
Other than confirming that the new residence is attracting lots of interest from potential purchasers, estate agency partner Lawrence Henry protects his clients’ privacy whether their names would leap off the page or wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
The house in Hadley Wood’s exclusive Beech Hill is called Aria. ‘We chose the name because it’s like how a soloist stands out in an opera,’ says Rutu Buddhdev, the 33-year-old managing director of the development company she founded in 2011. In an instance like this, it’s not beyond the bounds of credibility to make the comparison with a star performance at Covent Garden.
The businesswoman with a passion for interior design grew up in East Africa. ‘My mother’s British so I travelled to and fro a lot. I came to live here permanently in 2008.’
She and her husband, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, and their two young children live in Bushey Heath. Her company, Amara Property, is part of a Watford-based group and specialises in high end individual homes. They build between one and eight a year and never two the same. ‘We never repeat a design,’ Rutu explains.
Throughout the build, from concept to conclusion, the architect works in concert with specialists in every area of the project from lighting through to landscape. Rutu is tuned to what buyers with oodles of cash look for when they put out feelers for a new home close to the centre of London. Proof of her success is the number of awards won by her company. She says she has seen the top end of the market change in the past seven years. ‘No-one wants 10 bedrooms any more,’ she maintains. ‘They want good size bedrooms but not too many. More than half the size of the core of a house must be liveable space. They want areas where they can be together as a family and areas where they can shut themselves off.’
Aria is spread over four floors. There are six bedrooms, all en-suite, on the upper two floors. No surprise they’re all six-star hotel standard. For instance, every bathroom has a built-in Aquavision television with ceiling speaker and remote control. You could watch a box set in the bath.
The standout feature in the entrance hall is the elliptical staircase winding up to the upper levels. It’s a feature with a lyrical beauty, especially as it’s lit by the bespoke ‘sea flowers’ chandelier made specially for the setting by London-based Italian designer Rocco Borghese. The handrail of the staircase is covered in a crocodile print, but don’t let that scare you away.
Leading off the hall are four reception rooms and a showstopper kitchen which flows into the informal dining and family living areas, all of which open on to the expansive sandstone terrace that stretches almost the width of the building at the back. Pull-out walls divide up the open-plan area in this part of the house – great for when you want the kids to concentrate on their homework or the cook needs peace and quiet to stop a temperamental soufflé collapsing.
Before we leave the ground floor, here are some of the finer details about the sharp end of the kitchen: the integrated appliances are all Gaggenau. They include a full height wine cabinet with glass door, coffee machine, full height fridge and separate freezer, two conventional ovens and a microwave, induction hob and dishwasher. The units including larders are all high gloss grey lacquer with contrasting dark wood. Worktops are low maintenance quartz. The breakfast bar is marble. The utility room with Miele washing and drying machines can double up as a prep kitchen for caterers. Here staff can plate up prior to delivering dishes to the table in the formal dining room when there’s a houseful for a party.
But that’s not the end of the tour. Not by a long way. You haven’t heard about the leisure suite yet. It’s in the basement and it delivers a wow factor with a heated swimming pool, gym, games room, steam room, separate sauna, a salon for beauty treatments, and a bar incorporating a mini kitchen so you don’t need to run upstairs to the main kitchen for refreshment. There are also two plant rooms and a comms room – the powerhouse for the technology that enables all the clever clog systems in the property to be controlled from a mobile phone on the other side of the world if the need arises.
Fortunately for any buyer who might go into a spin at the mention of computer programmes, the developer will send an expert to the house prior to hand over to show them how to work all the future-proof gadgets and technology. Nothing will floor this baby. She’ll be ready to party no matter what you throw at her.
This new kid on the block stands on the site of a demolished four bedroom house which had been a much loved family home for many years until the time came for the elderly owner to downsize.
The new build took 18 months to complete. ‘A lot of that time went into creating the basement, excavating the land and tanking the structure to guarantee it remains damp proof,’ says Rutu.
The spectacular structure stands in stately seclusion at the end of a private drive with gated entrances both front and back of the property. The entire plot is protected with Fort Knox security to keep out paparazzi and nosey parkers. Outwardly, it’s a fusion of contemporary and country house aesthetics. The double height glass entrance, slim linear bricks and zinc detail give it an immediate presence.
The neighbours will probably be hoping that Aria will set the tone for any further changes to the built environment in the Beech Hill area.
The selling agent at Statons New Homes can be contacted on 0208 4419555.