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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
Secular Retreat
Living Architecture
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DESIGNER
 
 
Peter Zumthor

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CONTEXT
 
Location
Atelier Peter Zumthor, Secular Retreat, Living Architecture, Chivelstone, Devon, UK, The Rathbone PartnershipThe house is situated on a South Devon hilltop, one mile from the coast above the small Hamlet of Chivelstone. The dramatic layered-concrete and glass design sits horizontally on the site, framing stunning views across the landscape in all directions. Hand- rammed concrete forms both the interior and exterior spaces, to give the building a mass and scale characteristic of Zumthor’s work.
Relationship with the location
Panorama
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DESCRIPTION
 
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Atelier Peter Zumthor, Secular Retreat, Living Architecture, Chivelstone, Devon, UK, The Rathbone PartnershipWith Secular Retreat, Peter Zumthor continues his tradition of creating thoughtful and timeless architecture. The house sits in the place of a ruined timber house constructed in the 1940’s. Links to the original site remain, with a small hexagonal shaped walled area made out of layers of concrete block, and the now 20-metre-tall Monterey Pine trees planted to shield the original house. In character with Zumthor’s approach, the landscape and garden are central to the concept of the house. The garden is designed with the South Devon based Rathbone Partnership and comprises the planting of some 5,000 local species of trees and shrubs. Terraces and pathways are made of rough-hewn Somerset Blue Lias stone, set on edge.

Atelier Peter Zumthor, Secular Retreat, Living Architecture, Chivelstone, Devon, UK, The Rathbone PartnershipZumthor is renowned for his craftsmanship and expertise in the use of materials, which give his buildings an eternal quality. Creating and maintaining the consistency of concrete to produce the hand-rammed walls, and the engineering of both structure and integration of services throughout the main concrete frame, was delivered by a dedicated group of UK architects, consultants and contractors, who have come together with Zumthor’s team to produce this exemplary building.

This building is the architect’s first permanent building in the UK, and marks the seventh commission in a visionary series of houses designed by leading artists and architects in distinctive, unique sites across England.

The house will accommodate up to ten people in five bedrooms and is formed of two separate bedroom wings which lead from the large central open-plan living space. The design and construction required a series of exacting processes to be undertaken, from the careful placing amongst the existing trees, the orientation on the site to make the best of the views and natural light, to the creation of new gardens and outside areas.

Internally, the continuous ribbons of layered-concrete are set against stone floors, each slab cut to a different size and shape reflecting the raw material sourced directly from a Somerset quarry. Bedrooms are simple in form – a large carved niche within the concrete fabric, timber Pearwood floors leading to full height and width windows, allowing views onto the gardens and the surrounding valleys. Ensuite bathrooms continue this theme, with a combination of stone and rammed concrete. Throughout, the carefully crafted joinery of doors, inset shelves, wardrobes and kitchen furniture, all made from apple and cherry woods, bring a warmth and depth of contrast to the handmade concrete walls. With sofas, chairs, tables and lights all designed by Zumthor, Secular Retreat is the realisation of his long-held vision for this Devon hillside.
Living Architecture

Over the last decade, Living Architecture has commissioned carefully designed and thought-provoking domestic houses, available to all for holidays in the best of modern architecture.

With a mission to promote, educate and influence discussion, the houses provide an immersive architectural experience, created by some of the most relevant architects and artists working today.



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POINTS OF VIEW
 
 
Atelier Peter Zumthor, Secular Retreat, Living Architecture, Chivelstone, Devon, UK, The Rathbone Partnership«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. Quietness, contemplation, pure luxury. I could not resist to try to create this house.»

Peter Zumthor
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MATERIALS
 
concrete, stone
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
United Kingdom
State
England
Region
South West
County
Devon
District
South Hams
Town
Kingsbridge
Parish
Chivelstone
 
 
Website
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Residential buildings
Holiday buildings
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2010 - 2014    
Realisation
2014 - 2018
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CLIENT
 
 
Living Architecture LLP
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
sq.m. 375
Consistence
5 bedrooms
Capacity
10 peoples
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Jane Wernick Associates
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LANDSCAPE DESIGN
 
 
The Rathbone Partnership
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STAFF
 
Project
Atelier Peter Zumthor
Project architect
Peter Zumthor, Rainer Weitschies
Design team
Duarte Brito, Pascal Berchtold, Tom Tsapkov, Anna Page
Furniture
Peter Zumthor
Executive architect
Mole Architects
Architect of record
David Sheppard Architects
Environmental design
Transsolar and Integration UK
Construction management
Simon Cannon Ltd
Quantity surveyor
KM Dimensions
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Jack Hobhouse / Living Architecture
Text edited by Living Architecture
Courtesy of Living Architecture

Atelier Peter Zumthor, Secular Retreat, Living Architecture, Chivelstone, Devon, UK, The Rathbone Partnership



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