Underground homes are usually the preserve of green enthusiasts planning to build the ideal low-impact and self-heating home. Not so a house soon to begin construction in Cheshire that aims to be Britain's first luxury subterranean home with celebrities and footballers in mind
There have been several underground houses for sale over the years but they're usually set into a hillside to let some light in from the front. But no such luminary luxuries for Perdu, a spectacular subterranean home to be built in Bowdon, a southern suburb of Altrincham in Cheshire and one of the county's favoured postcodes (along with Preston, Hale and Alderley Edge) if you're a footballer or celebrity.
Perdu - which means 'lost' in French - is to be built under the front garden of Limehurst, a period mansion converted into apartments by developer Huntsmere in the late 1990s. At the entrance to a private garden, edged with a laurel hedge, there’s a stone ‘folly’ with a glass roof.
From here, you will walk down a sweeping staircase to the first lower level coming out in a central circular hallway. This has a glass floor and glass ceiling, three metres in diameter so light can pour in from above. A wedge shaped living room, master bedroom and utility room lead off this with light being brought into the living room through the glass wall of the hall.
Shute, that's a good idea
On the second level, there are two more en-suite bedrooms, a gym and stunning wedge shaped swimming pool with huge aluminium shute. This starts in the master bedroom, so when you feel like waking up with a splash, you can just jump out of bed and down the shute for an envigorating swim. There’s also a Jacuzzi at the bottom of the circular atrium.
The finish of the house will be, not surprisingly, of the highest quality with materials sourced from around the world. There will be under floor heating, ‘monsoon’ showers from Indonesia and solid wood floors.
Energy saving and environmentally friendly features include rainwater harvesting, a heat exchange system which brings in fresh air and hot water heated by solar tubes. These environmental credentials helped the developer obtain planning permission, along with its stunning design.
So how does the developer view this unique property? “We’ve been building luxury houses south of Manchester for the last 10 years, several of which have been bought by high profile footballers. All our houses have solar tube and heat exchange systems and many have basements with leisure areas. The only difference with this house is that the living areas are below ground too” says Chris Oakes of Huntsmere.
"Lack of light is not an issue as there are five light sources feeding light into the building. “It’s as light as, or more than, some period buildings,” he says.
Million pound homes
Anthony Jevons of selling agent, Jackson Stops & Staffs says there’s still a big demand for the million pound plus ‘show’ homes that the star footballers, such as Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Garrick and Emile Heskey, like to buy.
“We’ve had quite a wide variety of people looking at this from celebrities to very well-known footballers. Also, people looking to downsize from very large homes who are not ready to move into an apartment yet, but like the security of Perdu. We’ve shown round people from wealthy mid-30s entrepreneurs to couples in their mid 50s. Everyone who has seen the house has been very excited about it”.
Perdu is being sold through Jackson Stops & Staff’s Hale office for £2 million.
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When you feel like waking up with a splash just jump out of bed and dive down the shute for an envigorating swim