Property: Mocking Elizabethan

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FEW contemporary houses are as spectacular as the 'Vertex', which Colin Mackenzie of Hamptons is trying to sell. It would not be out of place in a hi-tech office park, humming with computers and spitting out white-coated workers. The Vertex is situated, however, bang in the middle of the deeply conservative St George's Hill estate in Weybridge, Surrey, the discreet retreat of pop stars and city tycoons.

The house stands high on a ridge, its glazed walls, metal turrets and sweeping roofs punctured with windows. 'The owners wanted something different,' says its young architect, Laurie Chetwood. He was happy to oblige.

The sprawling building was designed to take advantage of its soaring site, which offers views that stretch as far as Windsor Castle. But it also seems to be sticking up two fingers at the boring dignity of the surrounding mock-Elizabethan mansions. About the only thing it has in common with them is its price tag of pounds 950,000.

Mr Chetwood insists that, inside, the Vertex is a perfectly normal home, albeit one with a polished concrete central core, indoor swimming pool and tiered conservatory. 'I would certainly like to live there,' says the architect. He is, in fact, in the process of buying a - somewhat less expensive - home for himself. It is a traditional Surrey house, he says. 'I'll shape it up as I go along.'

(Photograph omitted)