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'A House for Essex', a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
'A House for Essex', a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
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Fancy Staying in Grayson Perry's Stunning 'A House for Essex'?

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 20 October 2017
Wanting to change people’s perception of modern architecture, Living Architecture invite world-renowned architects to design houses for short-term holiday rentals. One such house, an extraordinary building designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture, ticks all the boxes for art, design and architecture lovers.
A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

Since launching in 2015, A House for Essex has proved one of Living Architecture’s most popular rentals, much like their A Room for London on the Southbank and so they initiated a ballot system (which goes live throughout the year) giving everyone a fair chance of staying at the house.

We thought we’d take a look at this unusual and charming building that has become a 21st Century Essex landmark.

A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

Drawing on the unique qualities of Essex, the house, situated in Wrabness, is a remarkable combination of quirky architectural motifs and specially commissioned works by Grayson Perry.

Interior of A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
Interior of A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

Inspired by various different architecture from Stave churches, arts and crafts houses and English Baroque churches, A House for Essex is designed like a pilgrimage chapel and dedicated to a saint – a fabricated one of course – called Julie Cope.

A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
A House for Essex, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

‘When Living Architecture offered me the opportunity to collaborate with FAT it was a golden chance to realise a long held ambition to build a secular chapel’, said Perry. ‘The resulting building is a total art work, a fiction in which you can live, a digital age shrine and a homage to my home county.’

Title detail of 'A House for Essex', a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
Title detail of ‘A House for Essex’, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

Clad in green and white tiles depicting both Julie as an icon as well as symbols from her life, the house’s exterior and quirky tiered-design invites curiosity.

And as you would imagine the inside is just as eccentric and individual as the outside and features specially-commissioned works by Perry including handmade ceramic pots and tapestries that tell the fictional story of Julie Cope’s life.

Interior of 'A House for Essex', a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
Interior of ‘A House for Essex’, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse
1636-original copy
Interior of ‘A House for Essex’, a project by Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture | © Jack Hobhouse

A ‘musing on religion, local history, feminism, happiness and death’ as Perry puts it, the remote house that overlooks the River Stout can sleep up to four people for two or three night breaks.

1322-original copy
Grayson Perry, Sketch of ‘A House for Essex’ | © the artist

The ballot for A House for Essex is now open for stays in December 2017 to February 2018, entries close at midnight, October 26, 2017.

Should you not be lucky enough this time to stay inside the incredible building that combines artistic vision and architectural craft so beautifully, sign up to the Living Architecture’s newsletter to be in with a chance when the ballot opens later this year for winter periods.

Fancy seeing more inspirational artist homes? Then visit the best artists’ homes and studios in London