A House for Essex, Alain de Botton, bizarre homes, FAT, Grayson Perry, Essex, UK architecture, decorative tiling, tapestries, holiday house, vacation house, green renovation

Alain de Botton wanted a house that would be rich and small at the same time. Intricate tapestries and decorative ceramics cover the walls of the original structure, while its copper-clad pitched roof reminds of medieval churches. A one way road leads visitors from the local train station to the house, while a narrow foot bridge connects it with an overgrown lane which Holland and Perry call a pilgrimage.

A House for Essex, Alain de Botton, bizarre homes, FAT, Grayson Perry, Essex, UK architecture, decorative tiling, tapestries, holiday house, vacation house, green renovation

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The decoration is inspired by the fictional character Julie Cope, meant to represent an “Essex Everywoman”. The mouldings, tiling, tapestries and ceramic statues all depict her as a saint, telling the story of her life , from birth to divorce and eventually death, which is marked by the motorbike hanging from the ceiling. Julie “met her end” when her motorbike hit a curry delivery truck. The slightly morbid tale reads in the design as well and creates a rather bizarre space.

The house is the last project completed by FAT, which closed in 2014 after 23 years of practice.

+ Grayson Perry

+ FAT Architecture

Via Dezeen

Photos by Jack Hobhouse