London 2012: Hopkins Architects’ Long House

Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House
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Hopkins Architects' Long House

On the outskirts of a quiet village in northern Norfolk, the U.K. firm has built a vacation home for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture project that thoughtfully references the local vernacular.

Situated on the coast, the recently completed Long House is encased by two giant flint walls, a nod to the local barns and historical churches with the same feature. Structural timber mullions provide space for wide spans of glazing, which offer views of the prairie-like landscape.

“It’s a terribly simple plan,” Michael Hopkins says in an interview with Alain de Botton on the Living Architecture web site. The firm carved a hole in the middle of the two-storey house, establishing the open-plan concept. In the central void, the sitting area’s wooden spiral staircase – encased in a slatted-wood cylinder – steals the show. It also acts as a focal point – a sculptural feature from which the two long hallways on either side of the home extend, leading to various living areas.

On the main floor, a living space is located at one end while the kitchen is at the opposite. Beyond one of the two courtyards on the first floor, is the fifth bedroom – appropriate for guests with accessibility needs. On the second, the hallways connect four other bedrooms.

The home comes completely furnished; features include Miele kitchen and laundry appliances and cooking utensils by David Mellor Design. It is the fifth holiday home created in England for de Botton’s Living Architecture, a program designed to encourage interaction with contemporary architecture.

Only a few available dates remain for July and August. Prices start at £783 for a four-night stay. See booking specials here.

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