Life House by John Pawson / Living Architecture - Aesthetic Post

Life House by John Pawson / Living Architecture

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Amidst the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside, Living Architecture commissioned architect John Pawson to create a house of serenity and beauty – Life House (or Tŷ Bywyd, as it is called in Welsh). The house serves as a retreat that can sleep up to six people, with the architectural and design intention of contemplation and restoration for its guests.

John Pawson is a master of working within the parameters of landscape, ecology, and historic importance; his portfolio is filled with minimalist homes, boutiques, and even religious spaces. Working in collaboration with philosopher and writer, as well as the founder of Living Architecture, Alain de Botton, Pawson’s approach to Life House was an uncompromisingly modern design where it would be possible to inhabit a different sort of architectural space. Luxurious in its carefully executed simplicity, the house has been influenced by Japanese design, as well as the architecture of Benedictine monks. To further inspire mental awareness and tranquility, a sequence of walks have been curated the artist Hamish Fulton.

“In this house I wanted to create a modern, secular retreat, where guests can experience the benefits of introspection, solitude, and immersion in nature,” said Pawson.

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

From the handmade Danish bricks (black on the exterior, pale grey inside), to the polished terrazzo floor, and Douglas-fir ceilings, the house’s materials and finishes were chosen for their calming and clean nature.

Life House’s floorpan is organized around two corridors that meet at a right angle: one “dark,” leading to a chamber built into the hillside, a cavernous space designed for contemplation, the other, “light,” leads to an outdoor space where the exercise of purifying the mind is also encouraged. A combined kitchen, dining area, and lounge serve as the central hub, with a layout to satisfy both complete privacy, and when it is desired, sociability and communion.

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Three suites have dedicated purposes: the bathing room features a grand bathtub with panoramic views onto a Welsh valley, the music suite is centered around an elegant sound system with a curated selection of transcendent and calming music from different genres and times, and the library is stocked with a broad selection of both Eastern and Western literature. All of the rooms have large windows, maximizing the qualities of natural light and providing harmonious landscape views.

Life House by John Pawson    

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson

Life House by John Pawson  

“With Life House, we were looking to reinvent the monastery for a secular modern age, based upon the concept of a retreat, to take us back to the earliest days of Buddhism in the east and of Stoic philosophy in the west,” said Alain De Botton.

“In both cases, the busy city was held to provide certain opportunities while at the same time, cutting us off from others,” he added. “Chiefly, the risk is that we will forget to make time for ourselves, and omit to understand our own minds – and our need for calm and perspective.”

Photos: Gilbert McCarragher
More at: Living Architecture

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