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Secular Retreat

Sleeps 10

In South Devon, between the resorts of Salcombe and Hallsands lies a landscape of rolling hills, wooded river valleys, patchwork fields and small villages of old stone houses. It is here Living Architecture invited one of the greatest architects in the world, Peter Zumthor, to create Secular Retreat. 


Secular Retreat

  • The first permanent building by renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor in the UK.
  • Interiors, including furniture and lighting designed by the architect specifically for this house.
  • Private hilltop location with expansive gardens and views across Devon and to the sea.
  • Within a short stroll to some of the finest coastal walks in the South West.
  • Farm shops and fishmongers selling locally caught and produced food.
  • For up to ten guests of all ages.
  • Five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Positioned on a lower level within the garden, Secular Retreat is partly concealed behind the reinstated natural field boundaries. Only as guests approach along the sweeping pathway is the full extent of this extraordinary house revealed.

Guests enter beneath the massive overhang of the cantilevered white concrete roof. As they move through the fully glazed large open-plan living area, the beauty of this remarkable location and interior becomes apparent. 

The magnificent views are best enjoyed from bespoke armchairs perfectly positioned to become transfixed by the procession of clouds moving across the South Devon landscape, and watching the sun set over the valley below. However, the writing desk, situated in a semi-hidden nook, may just have the best view, an intimate place for contemplation and putting one’s thoughts onto paper.

The living area is where guests come together to prepare food in the thoughtfully designed kitchen, eat at the large dining table or gather around the fireplace.  When in need of some privacy, for an afternoon nap or a soak in the bath, they can choose from five generously sized bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom. Each bedroom takes advantage of the stunning location, with full-height windows onto the nearby gardens and landscape. Wake in the morning to see birds of prey scouting the valley below, take a coffee into the east garden, settle on a bench with a book or take a stroll among the Monterey Pines surrounding the house.

Secular Retreat is a very special house that must be experienced to appreciate the insight and sensitivity Peter Zumthor and Living Architecture have brought to this breath-taking landscape.


Secular Retreat - Devon
Secular Retreat - Devon
Secular Retreat - Devon

About Your Stay

During Your Stay

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About The Architecture

Peter Zumthor is frequently described as the greatest architect at work in the world today. He was awarded the internationally prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2009, and the RIBA Gold Medal in 2013.

Probably his most renowned buildings are the baths at Vals in Switzerland, the Bruder Klaus Chapel outside Cologne in Germany and the Kolumba Museum in Cologne itself. He is currently working on designs for museums in Basel and Los Angeles, alongside many private commissions.

He is a master of craftsmanship, and an expert in the use of materials, which give his buildings an eternal quality. For Living Architecture, Zumthor has designed this hilltop retreat, at which people will have the rare opportunity to stay and experience his architectural philosophy at first hand.

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