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Hertfordshire house by Utzon goes on sale for £3.5m

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A Hertfordshire house designed by Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon has gone on sale for £3.5 million

The Grade II-listed 418m² property in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was designed in 1962 by Utzon for his friend Povl Ahm, who was chairman of Arup at the time.

The six-bedroom home has been described by Hugh Pearman in The Sunday Times as ‘probably the best modern house in the world’.

In 1972 it was sympathetically extended by Ulrick Plesner, an architect at Arup, and later further extended by the 800 Group. It was listed in 1998.

The house features a living room with floor-to-ceiling glass panels overlooking the gardens, combined with concrete and timber detailing throughout the property.

According to estate agent The Modern House, the idea of the flow of space within the house, as well as ‘bringing the outside in’, has been ‘impressively realised’, enabled by aspects such as the tiled floor running from the interior to the exterior.

The house also includes a library, garage and dining room; exposed pale Aylesbury brickwork and precast solid concrete beams feature prominently inside.  

Ahm purchased the plot of land for the building while working with Utzon on his designs for the Sydney Opera House, completed in 1973. Utzon then drew up conceptual plans, which were developed by Ahm.

The property is currently listed on The Modern House for £3.5 million.

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John Pardey who wrote the book Two Houses on Majorca: v. 3: Jorn Utzon Logbook

’I took some photos of it over to Utzon the last time I saw him in 2007 and he was delighted – he said that he did not know it had been built. But he was impressed that it was entirely faithful to the design he had given his friend Povl Ahm.’

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Source: The Modern House

Ahm House by Jørn Utzon

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