Harlech House

Overview

We have selected a sample of photos from the hundreds available in the site just to give the casual visitor an idea of what the building is.

The materials principally used were glass (blown and fused), stainless and mild steel (fabricated and forged), stone (marble, granite, limestone), timber (oak, walnut, iroko, cherry) and ceramic (mosaic, painted broken tile and hand-made).

Although the building serves the function of a family home, it was also designed to be beautiful, to contain enchanting perspectives, contrasts of light and shade and materials, to lead the eye and interest from one part to the other, to be spacious without being ‘imposing’ or ‘impressive’.

There is no unnecessary decoration; everything has a function. One of these functions is to provide pleasure to the eye and touch; in this case through the way the changing light falls on materials at different times of the day. Contrary to common assumption polished steel is not ‘cold’, but borrows the colours from the ceramics, timber and glass next to it.

                                             

Another function is to celebrate the double millennium of the Incarnation. In one part of the house there is a life size thousand year old carving of the figure of the crucified Christ, mounted on the discarded crust of limestone blocks (‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’: Psalm 118 and Matthew 22). Elsewhere an entire room is devoted to housing a major glass piece depicting the encounter between God and Mary in the scene of the Annunciation.

Another function is to enable a large number of people to enjoy communal areas and also private places .The garden is effectively divided into distinct ‘rooms’, on different levels and with very different characters.

This is not a minimalist building or a ‘machine for living’; walls, floors, ceilings, doors, even the dragon gates outside are curved and abundant in colour, material and shape; the house has something to say apart from geometry (although there is plenty of that). The house proclaims the richness of nature, the beauty of detail, the inspiration of light: it is a hymn to God, thanking him for what we have, but most of all for what we hope to have, what has been promised.

Whatever you think or believe, I hope you enjoy the pictures, even if you decide the house isn’t to your taste!

If you want to look in more detail and to learn more about the house please follow the "Gallery" link below where you will find many more pictures sorted by various categories of material, location and concept. You will also find some pages of historical and explanatory text within the "History and Info" section.

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