I was lucky enough to hear Alain de Botton speak recently (renaissance thinker, entrepreneur, and author of the brilliant Architecture of Happiness, among other works), which inspired me to explore his ambitious Living Architecture project—”A new social enterprise set up to revolutionize both architecture and UK holiday rentals.” The project offers design enthusiasts a chance to rent houses by some of the most innovative architects at work today, including Pritzker-winning Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
Among the properties for rent (three have been built so far) is NORD Architecture’s Shingle House, sited on one of the most poetic landscapes in England, the Dungeness shore on the Kent coastline. NORD, a young Scottish practice, responded to the stark drama of the setting with a Nordic-inspired black timber structure clad in weather-resistant tarred shingles. To see more of the firm’s work, go to NORD Architecture (N.B.: former partner Robin Lee has just established an independent London-based practice called Robin Lee Architecture).
Above: The exterior is clad in tarred black shingles, a technique borrowed from boat-building practices.