Art & Design: Holidays in Modern Architecture

For most UK vacationers a trip means renting an ancient cottage, for Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness and Creative Director of social enterprise Living Architecture, a vacation can shift perceptions of modern architecture.

“To help people get over the dichotomy that modernism equals awful and antiquated equals great” Botton, along with not-for profit Living Architecture commissioned emerging architects to design rental houses rooted in a modernist aesthetic. Located across the UK, the 5 houses will be available to rent year round, starting from just £20 per night, with two houses available for rent in October.

Ultimately a blend of the aesthetic and the educational, each house responds to its natural backdrop. The cantilevered The Balancing Barn designed by Dutch firm MVRDV stands in silver harmony at the edge of a nature reserve close to the Suffolk coast. While Nord Architecture’s Shingle House paints a starker picture along the shingle beach at Dungeness. With timber and tarred black shingles, the house responds beautifully to the barren beach that inspired it.

The company is now taking bookings for The Balancing Barn and The Shingle House for holidays starting from October 2010 and for The Dune House for holidays starting from January 2011. The other houses will be available at the start of the Spring.

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