Unique architecture

The unique architecture of Sandbanks

The “Golden Mile” is home to some truly extradordinary unique properties combined with original architecture.

Sandbanks today is recognised internationally as one of the most exclusive residential areas in the world and it’s therefore no surprise that property prices reflect this as a result of the huge and never ending demand for properties with a spectacular view of the coastline or Poole Harbour.

A blend of old and new. Each property is unique in form and character.

A blend of old and new. Each property is unique in form and character.

Did you know?

The most expensive house to sell recently on the Banks was Harry Redknapp’s house for £10 Million!

The first main phase of development occurred in the first couple of decades of the C20th with the building of Edwardian villas along the north west shore of Panorama Road and this area is now part of the Sandbanks Conservation Area designated in 2003. The Council’s Conservation Area Statement explains that with their views across to Brownsea Island the houses were designed with their frontages to be seen from the Harbour rather than the road. Windows, verandahs, summer pavilions, boathouses and viewing decks were included and designed to take advantage of the views and the sea air.

Private jetties on sandbanks peninsular

Private jetties on sandbanks peninsular

Private jetties were constructed to take advantage of the shallow and relatively sheltered inshore waters. The Conservation Area designation has prevented the demolition of many of these villas and Tree Preservation Orders have to this day enabled these grand houses to be seen against a backdrop of mature trees. In contrast to this Edwardian grandeur, the sandspit that connects the head of the peninsular with Canford Cliffs remained largely undeveloped, with only shacks and low profile marine-related buildings scattered amongst the sand dunes.

A view from the past. Sandbanks looks very different today!

A view from the past. Sandbanks looks very different today!

However, the second half of the C20th has seen the emergence of Sandbanks as we now know it. John Lennon’s 1965 purchase of a house on the peninsula for his Aunt Mimi brought the attention of the national press to the area and the start of a public perception of Sandbanks as one of the most elite and fashionable residential locations in the country.

Mimi Smith, John Lennon's aunt, on the steps of her house in Sandbanks

Mimi Smith, John Lennon’s aunt, on the steps of her house in Sandbanks

The greater affluence of society as a whole and the increase in individual wealth of prominent business tycoons, sports stars and showbusiness celebrities was emblematic of societal change, no better illustrated by the beachfront houses along Banks Road being named ‘Millionaires Row’ as early as the 1970’s. In those days a million pound property was a rarity but nowadays the more superior houses and flats in Sandbanks will cost you many times a million pounds.

An example of a wood cladding home on Sandbanks peninsula

An example of a wood cladding home on Sandbanks peninsula

The predominant architectural style of C21st development in Sandbanks is overtly contemporary with a highly individualistic approach to the design of buildings, in many cases designed to the requirements of a specific client. However, there are a number of common elements, with white painted smooth render for exterior walls considered to complement the seaside location.

And of course extensive areas of glazing and large balconies are a must to take advantage of the views. Some houses have copper and steel roofing materials as these are fashionable and perceived as appropriate for a coastal location. Flat roofs topping cubic shaped buildings are favoured for residents who prefer a minimalist design with ‘clean lines’. A contrasting approach is to adopt a design that embodies the use of Poole Harbour as a major centre for sailing, with the curves of the roof of 85 Banks Road intended to represent the billowing sails of an traditional ocean-going schooner from the C19th.

85 Banks Road was designed to represent the sails of a boat

85 Banks Road was designed to represent the sails of a boat

In short, the architecture of the buildings in Sandbanks is always interesting and often spectacular. It’s well worth a morning or evening stroll along the residential roads. And remember, keep your eyes peeled for one of household name celebrities who are residents of the area!



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