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Looking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture houses

Looking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture houses

04.04.18

Unusual views: the house, not always the world beyond, as the focus of Living Architecture houses

Looking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture houses

Holidaymakers traditionally favour a ‘room with a view’. In our own homes, modish glass walls and extensions designed to bring the natural world closer dominate popular architecture. One’s view is something to be framed and admired from within, often the focal point of a room.  

By contrast, we demand more of Living Architecture houses. Our diverse architects are united in their sometimes non-traditional treatment of the views to the outside world. After all, if the house is as beautiful on the inside as the outside, why shouldn’t guests’ attention be intentionally diverted by the pleasing proportions of well-designed rooms and sequence of spaces?  

Whether by the coast, overlooking a Suffolk nature reserve, or in the tranquil Norfolk countryside, the locations of our houses are all remarkable and invite exploration. Naturally, the design responds to the setting, yet the architect challenges us to truly experience the space as they envisioned – even to the extent of deliberately moving our attention away from the outside scene.

At FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex, the windows are high overhead in the sitting room, a chapel-like space and a secular temple to the fictional Julie Cope. As in a church, we are invited to look upwards at the statue of Julie or the objects and motifs of her life that dominate the walls and ceiling, not out at the landscape beyond. The story of Julie becomes a catalyst for self-reflection – what stories, what objects would symbolize your life?

In the bedrooms, large tapestries fill the space and again invite your attention. Doorways that might open onto a balcony here open onto the galleried space again. Only when recumbent in the bath is the view of the landscape framed neatly through a window at eye level. 

In contrast, at Life House, the colours, design and spaces are designed to soothe the mind, and allow your own thoughts to gather. One can still admire the rolling Welsh hillside at leisure, with views across the peaceful valley, but the internal contemplation chamber also encourages inward reflection, and draws attention away from the outside world. With only a sky view through the small ceiling opening, one can focus on the sounds of nature and one’s own breathing, and consider the ideas and reflections that surface in a moment of true peace.

Book your own Living Architecture holiday now and immerse yourself in world-class architecture and utmost comfort.

Looking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture housesLooking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture housesLooking out, looking in - unexpected views at Living Architecture houses
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