for the last ten years, living architecture has commissioned a series of UK holiday homes that the public can rent out for short stays. following residences by MVRDV, john pawson, and FAT architecture, among others, a peter zumthor-designed dwelling is now nearing completion on a hilltop in south devon. ‘it has become rare to be able to sit in a house and look out at a beautiful landscape where no trace of another building interrupts the lines of the rolling hills,’ says the swiss architect. ‘quietness, contemplation, pure luxury. I could not resist to try to create this house.’

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
all images © jack hobhouse / living architecture

 

 

the project, named ‘secular retreat’, is zumthor’s first permanent building in the UK and marks the seventh commission in the living architecture series. the house is surrounded by 20-meter-tall monterey pines, which were originally planted to shield the site’s previous structure. the layered-concrete and glass design sits horizontally on the site, framing all-encompassing views across the landscape. the building’s hand-rammed concrete walls delineate the interior spaces, which are capable of accommodating up to ten guests.

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
the project is nearing completion on a hilltop in south devon

 

 

a large open-plan living space is found at the center of the home, while two separate bedroom wings extend between the trees. as part of the project, zumthor has also designed a range of sofas, chairs, tables, and lights, which complement the dwelling’s architecture. large windows present views of the surrounding garden, which was designed alongside landscape architecture firm rathbone partnership. the ‘secular retreat’ is scheduled for full completion in december 2018.

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
the house is surrounded by 20-meter-tall monterey pine trees

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
the layered-concrete and glass design sits horizontally on the site

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
zumthor has designed many of the home’s interior furnishings

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
large windows present views of the surrounding landscape

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
two separate bedroom wings extend between the trees

peter zumthor secular retreat living architecture
the ‘secular retreat’ is scheduled for full completion in december 2018

 

 

project info:

 

atelier peter zumthor project team:
peter zumthor, rainer weitschies (project architect), duarte brito, pascal berchtold, tom tsapkov, anna page, alongside many more of the in-house team

 

secular retreat project team:
architect: atelier peter zumthor
executive architect (phase 1): mole architects
local architectural advisor (concept phase): david sheppard architects
landscape design and consultant: the rathbone partnership
construction management: simon cannon ltd
concrete frame: woodmace concrete structures ltd
structural engineer: jane wernick associates
quantity surveyor: KM dimensions
environmental design engineers: transsolar and integration UK

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