In 1936, textile magnates Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built their Art Deco residence next to the remains of a royal palace that had been Henry VIII's childhood home. The result was a unique creation: glamorous 20th-century interiors in ancient surroundings. The stunning entrance hall, with its glazed dome and mural-like marquetry, was created by Swedish designer Rolf Engströmer. The home also contains some of the first examples of built-in furniture in the UK.
The Moriko Mori exhibition at Burlington Gardens, the new space for art and architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, is inspiring. Transcircle 1.1 consists of nine waist-height acrylic 'stones' arranged so as to evoke ancient stone circles. The forms symbolise the planets of the solar system and LED lights allow each to glow a different colour, based on the movements of the planets over a year.
I am always drawn to water when I travel - it can provide a powerful sense of calm. This beautiful Art Nouveau style bathhouse in East Germany is truly delightful. Originally built in 1869 by a local Doctor as a bathhouse and orthopaedic hospital, it was handed over to the public and rebuilt in 1904. In 1995 the city was granted money from the European Aid Programme to refurbish the building with stunning results.
Many people have a strong connection to the places they have lived. They mark events in life. My Grandmother’s grand old house in Alabama is one of those places. As a child, I thought it was the most beautiful place on Earth. My memory of the house cannot be tarnished. In many ways it has played a role in my life long interest in design and interiors. Some years ago I was given permission from the current owner to photograph the house. Left untouched for many years, it was bittersweet to see its’ faded beauty. The house was no longer a home. Used as an occasional hunting lodge for many years, it’s purpose had changed. The original curtains, chandeliers and rugs remained with almost no furniture to keep them company. A few new objects and furniture were strewn throughout. I found my memories still embedded in the fabric of the building.
The name of our company, Zuhause, is defined as “home” or “at home” in German. Home is where the heart is. It is where our domestic affections are centred. Holding memories and secrets , it is a vessel of our imagination. This blog will explore the idea of “home” – how beauty, decay, culture and identity all shape and are shaped by our relationship to our habitat. Join us as we travel from the inner city of cosmopolitan centres to far off lands, galleries, homes and streets to contemplate the idea of home.