A HISTORIC modernist house in the Scottish Borders fashioned by Scots-based architect Peter Womersley for the influential textile designer Bernat Klein has gone on sale for £795,000.

Klein House, once included in a longlist of 100 of the finest examples of architecture in Scotland by the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland, has been put on the market for the first time by the family of Klein, who died three years ago.

Described by the sellers as a "mid-century masterpiece" it was first built for the Klein family in 1947 by Womersley who lived in the Scottish Borders until his death at the age of 70 in 1993.

The architect's buildings are scattered across Scotland - ranging from the Gala Fairydean Rovers football stadium in Galashiels, to the Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit in Edinburgh, to a boiler house at a former district asylum near Melrose.


He also designed numerous houses in the Scottish Borders, most of which have continued to be used as private homes, including Klein House.

Shelley Klein - who lived in the house said last year she was unaware of the building's significance when she was younger.

"I was rather annoyed that I didn't live in a Victorian house like all my friends did. They seemed far more interesting to me when I was little," she said.

"It's only now that I really appreciate how beautiful this building is."

Albert Hill, founding director of The Modern House estate agents that are handling the sale described Mr Womersley as "without doubt one of the most underrated Modern architects, not only in the UK but in the world and this is one of his masterpieces".

He added: "My job involves travelling around Britain looking at some really exceptional houses.

"Even though I've been doing this for over 12 years, once in a while I still get completely blowed over by a property. The Klein House was certainly one of those places, "In my opinion, it is one of the very best Modern houses in the UK with its winning combination of so many appealing elements.


"The richness and variety of the materials used, the elegant way that the architect plays with forms, and his lightness of touch are all evident here."

Klein, whose fabrics were used in the 1960s by the likes of Christian Dior, Cristobal Blanciaga and Yves Saint Laurent first commissioned Mr Womersley to build the house after coming across his first commission, Farnley Hey, for his brother John near Huddersfield which won a Royal Institute of British Architects medal in 1958.

The four-bedroom house near Selkirk with a studio has a rare Category A listing from Historic Environment Scotland and is described as "in largely original condition".

The geometric modular flat-roofed structure was designed to be used as a commercial office space for meetings as well as a home.

The design of the single storey house is described as "essentially a rectangle subdivided into eight foot modules" and is enhanced by what is described as an inventive broad mixture of materials", including travertine floor tiles and exotic hardwoods such as idigbo and obeche.


Historic Environment Scotland’s listing says the building is a "a fine early example" of Womersley's designs, further describing it as a "signature work embodying his characteristic geometric modular design and surviving in its original condition to both the exterior and interior".

Serbian-born Klein, an adoptive Scot who fell in love with the rich Borders countryside and whose exotic mohairs and tweeds put Scottish fashion on the map died in 2014 at the age of 91.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland said the influence of Klein, who settled in the Borders shortly after the war, went "well beyond Scotland".

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