Searching for your own modernist escape? Author Stefi Orazi has launched a holiday rental platform that opens modernist homes across the UK for weekend getaways.
The curated platform expands her cult blog, Modernist Estates – a decade-long project that has photographed and documented some of Britain’s most beloved modernist residencies and even spawned its own letting arm, connecting owners to architecturally inclined renters. Opening a vacation platform for architecture enthusiasts was a natural progression.
‘It was partly inspired by the fact I get quite a few emails asking me to recommend holiday accommodation because of my book Modernist Escapes (Prestel, 2021), but also because it’s the kind of site I would like,’ explains Orazi. ‘There’s so much choice out there, almost too much. I want to present a curated selection of properties that people can trust.’
Hideaways can be found on Scottish islands to the depths of Wales, with a few urban sanctuaries in the mix, too. Each has high-quality design and attention to detail, from a converted tin church on the Isle of Skye to a four-bedroom house that cantilevers over the River Ysgir in Wales.
‘I’ve created a loyal audience over the years through my website, books, and social media,’ says Orazi. ‘It’s become quite a community, and I’ve got to know what people are after.’
She adds: ‘It’s also about the host. I’m not flashy and full of marketing spiel, so if they have bought into what I do, it’s a good fit.’
What’s particularly notable about Orazi’s offering is that it opens up pockets of the UK that aren’t widely known for modernist architecture, showing that some of the most exciting architectural stays are outside of urban centres.
‘During the 1960s, there were lots of clusters of individually designed houses popping up across the UK, such as the Hummicks in Beaulieu in the New Forest — a group of split-level bungalows by J Seymour Harris & Partners. Today, there’s so little opportunity in London to build a contemporary house, but in places like Skye or Mull, there are some exciting contemporary houses being built.’