Zumthor's Secular Retreat Opens for Business

 John Hill
30. October 2018
Photo courtesy Living Architecture
The Secular Retreat, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor for Living Architecture, has been completed and is available for holidays in South Devon, England.
Since being founded by Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness, in 2006, Living Architecture has built eight holiday homes designed by well-known architects. These range from the cantilevered "Balancing Barn" by MVRDV to FAT's last commission, the "House for Essex," designed by FAT with artist Grayson Perry.

Zumthor's "Secular Retreat," one of the 18 for '18 we highlighted late last year and the Swiss architect's first permanent UK commission, is much more sedate than the FAT and MVRDV creations. The five-bedroom house has walls of rammed earth and a white-concrete roof. Large windows frame views to the coast from the private hilltop property. Zumthor also designed the retreat's furnishings, including armchairs, the dining table, and a writing desk.

Visit Living Architecture's website for more information on the house and to book it for a holiday starting in March 2019. Three-night stays range from £1965 to £3080 depending on the time of year. At a per-person cost of £196 to £308 (it sleeps ten), the Secular Retreat is a better deal than most high-end hotels in London — a city without its own Zumthor.
Photo courtesy Living Architecture

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