As we prepare to launch our London Luxury Property Show to showcase today’s most desirable homes located in Sandbanks & Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset, we reflect on the strong influence of 1930s Modernist architecture across the area, still shaping many of today’s most desirable coastal homes.
The Sandbanks Peninsular and its more discreet Sylvan neighbour Canford Cliffs, have become increasingly under the media and investor spotlight in recent years. Today, the area more often than not garners a mention in reference to the top prices paid for these luxury super-homes.
The prime property plots with coastal vistas, drew investors from London as far back as the 1930s – brave investors then – some of whom commissioned defining Modernist homes – and it is this less well-known story that remains an underlying influence in coastal architecture today.
In 1938, film director Dudley Shaw Ashton was inspired by the location to commission the architect Oliver Hill to design the stunning Modernist home ‘Landfall’ for his family.
The work of Oliver Hill, and that of A.J. Seal – creator of equally significant local Modernist buildings ‘Conning Tower’ and the ‘Harbour Heights’ Hotel (now owned by FJB Hotels) – appears to shape the architectural character of the area in many ways today.
Investors seeking to acquire land and commission an architect to realise a bespoke home in the Canford Cliffs & Sandbanks area will still find land opportunities today. They will need to be prepared to compete with local property developers to secure the most desirable plots with sea views. For example, a superb development plot, situated moments from Evening Hill, Poole and its harbour views, is currently on the market for c. £2.7m with Berkeleys and is situated close to wonderful ‘Landfall.’
Today,The Wheelhouse in Sandbanks offers an exceptional coastal apartment in a contemporary building echoing Modernist principles. Currently on the market for £2.4m, with Berkeleys, it offers direct harbour access and sweeping harbour views.
Buildings taking reference from the style and shape of the 1930s – the Modernist movement – typically feature clean lines, flat roofs, reinforced concrete, glass and metal tubular steel staircases. The common ground of the Modern movement was found in the type of building materials used, and perhaps more importantly the way in which these building materials are used. Echoes of 1938 ‘Conning Tower’ are easily recognisable in many contemporary buildings across the area today.
Reflecting on this magnificent architectural heritage; investors, second home owners and those looking to relocate to the coast can be reassured that these valuable local heritage assets are being protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Poole Council has established a heritage assets list – reaching beyond Listed Building status – which logs all heritage assets of note including:- known archaeological sites and areas of archaeological significance; historic landscapes, landscape features in parks and gardens and locally Listed buildings. We are reassured to see that several Modernist and 1930s building in Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs are on the list.
Berkeleys’ recently published archive photography book, “Local History, Local Heritage” provides a more indepth, unique insight into the heritage of the area. Contact our office to view and enjoy a copy.