News, Travel I by

Peek inside Peter Zumthor’s ‘Secular Retreat’

Peter Zumthor spent a decade working on his first permanent UK building – a countryside villa in Devon which pays homage to the work of Andrea Palladio.

Secular Retreat was among the first UK holiday homes commissioned by Living Architecture – a holiday rental company created by philosopher Alain de Botton – but it has only just been completed. And it’s already sold out of its 2019 dates.

Peek inside ‘Secular Retreat’ by Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor
Photography: © Jack Hobhouse/Living Architecture

The five-bedroom hilltop structure replaces a dilapidated 1940s timber house and is built using hand-rammed concrete. Its enormous windows frame far-reaching views of the Devon countryside and the property’s expansive gardens, which are planted with 5,000 species of plants, trees and shrubs – a nod to Palladio’s grand country houses.

Peek inside ‘Secular Retreat’ by Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor
Photography: © Jack Hobhouse/Living Architecture

The villa’s exterior is marked by horizontal stripes, created by the ramming technique, while interiors have bespoke limestone floors and concrete walls. Wooden surfaces soften the concrete, alongside brightly coloured furniture designed by Zumthor.

Peek inside ‘Secular Retreat’ by Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor
Photography: © Jack Hobhouse/Living Architecture
Peek inside ‘Secular Retreat’ by Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor
Photography: © Jack Hobhouse/Living Architecture

Read next: The 9 best architects to create your mountain retreat

Latest

Latest

Share Tweet

Privacy Preference Center

Required Cookies & Technologies

Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions.

gdpr, woocommerce_cart_hash, woocommerce_items_in_cart, _wp_wocommerce_session, sucuri_cloudproxy_uuid_*

Site Customisation

Cookies and similar technologies are used to improve your experience, to do things like:

- remember your login, general, and regional preferences
- personalize content, search, recommendations, and offers

Without these technologies, things like personalised recommendations, your account preferences, or localisation may not work correctly.

wp-settings-*

Personalised Advertising

These technologies are used for things like:

- personalised ads
- to limit how many times you see an ad
- to understand usage via Google Analytics
- to understand how you got to our web properties
- to ensure that we understand the audience and can provide relevant ads

We do this with social media, marketing, and analytics partners (who may have their own information they’ve collected). Saying no will not stop you from seeing our ads, but it may make them less relevant or more repetitive.

_ga, _gid, gat,_gads,_fbp