A House for Essex in the north Essex countryside is the latest contemporary house to be commissioned by Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture company. It is the second house involving architect/artist collaboration – further to the David Kohn Architects/Fiona Banner, building/installation, boat/house/room currently on the roof of the South Bank Centre in London. Designed by FAT architects in collaboration with Grayson Perry, it will contain specially commissioned artworks – including three aluminium sculptures on the roof, an exterior clad in bottle-green ceramic tiles, and the roof finished in copper alloy sheet. The sculptures, tiles and interior artworks explore the historical and contemporary character of Essex. The programme is for a two-bedroom guest house that also contains a gallery and formal reception space, combined with the exotic aesthetic qualities of a Russian Dacha. The site is in the village of Wrabness, on the Stour estuary, a few miles inland from Harwich. It lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the house will enjoy spectacular views across the river. The design received planning approval in November 2012 with work started on site in March 2013 for completion in 2014. It will be available to rent from Spring 2015.
Alain de Botton described the collaboration between FAT with Grayson Perry, “We performed a good marriage on them. I think the work of both is being taken to new heights by what they bring each other.” RIBA Journal, January 2013.
Living Architecture commissions modern architects to design houses around Britain available to rent for holidays. Five houses have been completed: The Balancing Barn, Suffolk, MVRDV; The Shingle House, Dungeness, Kent, NORD; The Dune House, Suffolk, Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects; The Long House, Norfolk, Hopkins Architects; and Room for London, David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner. The Secular Retreat on Dartmoor by Peter Zumthor is in progress.
Images: FAT. A House for Essex. ©FAT
RIBA Journal. January 2013. A House is a Machine for Learning In. Hugh Pearman interview with Alain de Botton. http://www.ribajournal.com/pages/oct_profile_190712.cfm/