Minimalist icon John Pawson has designed a contemporary interpretation of Thoreau’s Walden. Life House is located among the hills and tall grasses of the moor in Wales. The floor plan consists of four wings projected from two long corridors. Each wing is thoughtfully designed for a specific function, enhancing the user’s experience within the room. Oversized windows bring the British countryside indoors. The corridors — one bright and one dark — play with light to create a unique architectural experience in an often overlooked part of the home.
Life House features a monochrome colour palette, but not in your typical whites. Soft tan bricks merge with raw plywood and polished floors. These tans and greys offer a minimal range of shades that are quite warm and inviting. The colours were chosen to mimic the moor grass on the home’s site, thus visually connecting the home and its environment. The furnishings mimic these tones while select pieces are constructed of the same material of the floor, giving the appearance that they grew right out of the home’s foundation. The result is a space that feels cohesive without being too matchy-matchy.
Just like Walden, Life House is a lovely example of simple living in nature.
Photography by Gilbert McCarragher.