A modern twist with historic features

The Life: It looks like it is straight out of a English period drama. But Chiltern, which is on the market for almost $44 million, is only 20 years old and located on the outskirts of San Francisco.
Chiltern is on sale for $43.8 million. Courtesy Christie's International Real Estate
Chiltern is on sale for $43.8 million. Courtesy Christie's International Real Estate

With its Tudor and Edwardian-era architecture, panelled walls and stained-glass windows, it could provide a convincing backdrop to an English period drama.

But unlike the centuries' old stately homes it was modelled on, Chiltern was built just 20 years ago - and it is located in Hillsborough on the outskirts of San Francisco, close to Silicon Valley.

The five-bedroom main house with three separate apartments and a guesthouse is set in six acres of grounds. It is on the market for US$43.8 million (Dh161.1m).

The limestone and fossil-stone building may be new, but some of the features inside pre-date the era it was inspired by.

More than 250 pieces of stained glass date back to the 13th century, while a number of the carved mantels and fireplace surrounds are from the 17th century.

A vestibule dressed in circa 1633 Jacobean panelling greets visitors, while the 13.7 metre high great hall is adorned with 17th century panelling from Dyffryn House in Wales.

The second-floor suite, with "accents of walnut burl, black granite, Persian green onyx, and fossil stone" occupies its own wing with his-and-her dressing rooms, a panelled sitting room and an office.

The third level features carved antique bronze doors that open to an office suite and a private art gallery.

Many of the historic pieces in the house feature in Studies in the History of Art, published by the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

But Chiltern has no shortage of modern technology, including "elaborate security measures", plus computer-controlled lighting, heating and air conditioning.

The house features a 25 metre indoor pool, racquetball and squash court, tennis court, gymnasium and whirlpool.

Outside, the property is surrounded by manicured lawns, a 50-tree orchard, rose gardens, a walled English garden and a maze.

The agent Christie's International Real Estate describe Chiltern as "a monument to the idea of architecture as art, and a jewel to treasure for generations to come".

gduncan@thenational.ae

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Published: March 2, 2012 04:00 AM

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