The striking façade of this contemporary three-bedroom townhouse conceals a home of immaculate spatial ingenuity. Light seemingly flows from every angle around 1,430 sq ft of multi-layered and versatile space. Completed in 2020 and with eco-credentials and sustainability at its heart, the house faces the River Aire and has a private seating area, shared riverfront gardens and a garage. Located in the Secret Garden, part of the Climate Innovation District, it is a five-minute walk to Leeds Dock and approximately 15 minutes to the Corn Exchange.
Secret Garden is an inspirational riverside sanctuary; a beautiful place to live that is modern, regenerative and sustainable. Citu, working alongside White Arketekter, have designed and created innovative, Scandinavian-influenced houses that are set within a peaceful yet urban environment. Secret Garden is the recipient of many awards and accolades including a Yorkshire Residential Property Award for Best Residential Development (2021), a Housing Design Award (2020) and a Sunday Times British Homes Awards for Best Sustainable Development (2019).
Verdant shared gardens, gabion walls and leafy trees line the paths that meander to the house, which has a striking façade of small black cladding tiles and glazed openings, rimmed in popping orange timber frames, that hints at the creative material palette within. A private garage is located in an undercroft car park to the rear.
The entrance opens to a cleverly conceived set of rooms that unite in an exacting, sophisticated aesthetic. The volume of the house has been maximised to create a dynamic series of levels and spaces, and the light-filled rooms have far-reaching views of the river. Polished micro-cement, plywood, maple, glass panelling and pared-back joinery work in harmony to create a decidedly serene atmosphere throughout.
The large and bright open-plan runs front-to-back at ground floor level. Flanked by a wide glazed screen that opens to a patio, the dining area flows seamlessly into a centrally positioned kitchen with sleek bespoke cabinetry and a generous breakfast bar. Beyond is another area in which to gather and socialise. This living space is triple-height and awash with natural light, which pours in from a generous roof light two floors above. There is a WC and lots of neatly concealed storage.
A birch-faced plywood staircase rises to the first floor, where a small landing leads to a river-facing bedroom with generous storage. The current owners use this as an additional sitting room. To the rear is another lofty area in which to relax or work; this is open to the living area below and the second floor above. An immaculately detailed shower room lies centrally.
The second floor is home to two further bedrooms. Large sliding doors run on stainless steel tracks on both sides of the landing, allowing for fluid, open plan living or the creation of two private retreats. The double aspect main suite has a shower room, plus glazed doors opening to a Juliet balcony with expansive river views. The third sleeping area lies at the rear and displays the inherent playfulness at the heart of this home; spanning the large floor void, a giant roped net allows dappled skylight to filter down to the floors below and is the perfect spot to relax and watch projected films.
The house was built to maximise environmental friendliness and energy efficiency, allowing for an excellent quality of sustainable living. It was constructed using a bespoke, closed-panel timber framing system that is heavily insulated and airtight. A colourful green roof sits atop, attracting biodiversity and a variety of local wildlife. Doors and windows are triple-glazed, while the impressive opening skylight and carefully positioned wall vent allow for natural cooling in the summer. There is a whole-house mvhr system, ensuring that the air in the house is regularly filtered, conserving heat and fresh air within. The house shares electricity generated from an array of solar panels that feed the community’s private network; there is an integrated smart home technology system and ultra-fast broadband. A blp structural warranty runs until 2030.
A plant-filled patio sits adjacent to the front of the house and is an ideal spot for morning coffees, lazy lunches and evening drinks.
Owners of houses in the Secret Garden share the wide, pedestrianised green street that runs along the River Aire. Peppered with trees, the riverbank provides a tranquil backdrop for a picnic and is a handy launch point for paddleboarding and canoeing. Walking and cycling paths run directly into the city centre. The planting is abundant; lines of silver birch trees host bird boxes, while bees are attracted by local hives and colourful flowers. Otters, salmon and kingfishers are all regular visitors to the river.
Secret Garden lies at the heart of the Climate Innovation District, a unique city-centre location. The new pedestrian bridge over the River Aire opens up acres of green space, while the vibrant streets of Leeds are just a few minutes wander down the towpath. Street food stalls tempt at Kirkgate Market and Trinity Kitchen; more historic fare is on offer at Whitelock’s Ale House and Nash’s Fish and Chips. Michelin-starred fine dining is available at The Man Behind the Curtain; coffee and cake can be enjoyed at Layne’s Espresso and North Star. For an evening of music, Belgrave, Headrow House and The Domino Club are all excellent.
It is an 18-minute walk to Leeds Station, where services run to London King’s Cross in just over two hours. The M1, A1 and M62 are all easily accessible and Leeds Bradford Airport is approximately eight miles north.
Tenure: Community Interest Company, of which all residents own an equal share
Lease Length: Approx. 998 years remaining
Service Charge: Approx. £1,300 per annum
Ground Rent: Approx. N/A
|Property Type||%||Avg. current value||Avg. # beds||Avg. # bathrooms|
|End terrace house||3.4%||£243,333||3.2||1.6|
|Property Type||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds||4 Beds||5 Beds|
|Houses||£139,995 (1)||£109,874 (36)||£143,285 (49)||£252,333 (18)||-|
|Flats||£139,251 (73)||£206,246 (74)||£355,186 (11)||-||-|
|All||£139,261 (74)||£174,706 (110)||£182,134 (60)||£252,333 (18)||-|