It’s not all doom and gloom for the UK property market: in the face of the country’s slowing or depreciating prices, Sarah Featherstone’s cutting-edge green home has sold for a record-breaking £7.2million, or $14.2million USD! The building, known as Orchid House, is one of the key homes on Lower Mill Estate, a project to turn a disused gravel pit into a beautiful 450-acre nature reserve.

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Possibly to subsidize the £3,000 per square foot cost of the property, the building aims to generate more energy than it consumes, making use of geothermal heating. The house can be adapted to any occasion, be it a family holiday or a large reception, due to its flexible living spaces. Inhabitants and visitors to the property can be entertained by the glass-sided badger set installed in the garden.

The inspiration for the form comes from the flora and fauna on the estate, with living and dining areas appearing to fan out from the building’s core. The form is created using laminated veneer lumber – not great for the planet, as it consists of layers of wood held together with adhesives – but it does stay beautiful longer than conventional timber. This lumber is then clad with timber shingles with a camouflage pattern burnt into them. The main living spaces join the home’s pontoon to float over the lake.

The buyer chose to remain anonymous, but rumor has it they work in the entertainment industry – and may well be a household name, going by the celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Kylie Minogue who’ve expressed an interest so far. We may have to wait until 2011 to find out though – this is when the house will be completed and become home to the mystery buyer.

+ Sarah Featherstone + Lower Mill Estate