The Life House by John Pawson

The Life House is a modern retreat located in Wales, United Kingdom, designed in 2016 by RIBA award-winning architectural designer John Pawson.

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About The Life House

Introducing The Life House: A Haven of Calm

John Pawson, an internationally acclaimed RIBA award-winning architectural designer, unveils The Life House. Commissioned by Living Architecture, this retreat nestles in a tranquil Welsh valley. Renowned for designing the new home of the Design Museum, Pawson now offers a space dedicated to serenity and reflection. Living Architecture, known for its unique holiday homes designed by leading architects, adds The Life House as its seventh property and first in Wales.

A Design Inspired by Serenity

The Life House, accommodating six guests, revolves around the concept of a peaceful retreat. It’s designed for serenity, contemplation, and rejuvenation. A week-long stay promises to immerse visitors in calm, revitalizing them for the world’s challenges. The retreat provides a guidebook by John Pawson and Living Architecture, detailing rituals for everyday life, including chapters on conversation, bathing, and curated recipes and music for the stay.

A Symphony of Design and Nature

The retreat’s design, a five-year collaboration between Pawson and philosopher Alain de Botton, echoes Japanese aesthetics and Benedictine monk architecture. It features a contemplation chamber, an outdoor contemplative space, and spacious living areas for privacy or social interaction. The retreat includes a library bedroom with therapeutic literature, a music bedroom with a curated music selection, and a bathing bedroom offering views of a Welsh valley. Constructed with over 80,000 handmade Danish bricks, the retreat blends light and dark-colored bricks, pale polished concrete floors, and Douglas fir timber, creating an atmosphere perfect for introspection.

Alain De Botton, Creative Director of Living Architecture, describes The Life House as a modern, secular monastery. It reconnects us to the calm and perspective often lost in busy city life. John Pawson, the designer, emphasizes creating a modern retreat that allows guests to experience introspection and nature’s beauty. The Life House stands as a sanctuary, harmonizing with its remote, natural surroundings.

Photography by Jack Hobhouse

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- by Matt Watts