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Gallery: Grayson puts his art into ‘part house, part gallery’ in Wrabness

13:09 16 April 2013

An architect

An architect's vision for A House For Essex, which will be built near Wrabness

Archant

IT promises to be one of the most eye-catching and inspirational buildings in Essex when it opens next year thanks to the involvement of an award-winning artist.

Work is expected to start in the next few months on A House for Essex, which will be both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of works by Grayson Perry and should be open for guests later next year.

A House for Essex is a collaboration by leading architecture practice FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste) and the Turner Prize-winning artist from Essex.

FAT and Grayson Perry are working on the quirky construction project with Living Architecture, a social enterprise set up to “revolutionise both architecture and UK holiday rentals”.

Other unusual projects built by Living Architecture include the award-winning Balancing Barn at Walberswick, the Long House in north Norfolk and the Dune House in Thorpeness. The structure will be built at Simpson’s Farm in Blackboy Lane, Wrabness, near Harwich, and has been designed to “evoke a tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels in the landscape”.

A spokesman for Living Architecture said: “We aim to start on site this spring but construction won’t be finished until well into next year and of course, the unpredictable nature of the weather has a part to play in construction programmes.”

The interior of the house will contain a number of specially-commissioned art works by Grayson Perry including tapestries, pots, decorative timberwork and mosaic floors, all celebrating the “history and psyche” of Essex.

Speaking about A House for Essex before Tendring District Council approved planning permission last year, Grayson Perry, who grew up in Chelmsford and went to college in Braintree, said: “The idea behind this project relates to buildings put up as memorials to loved ones, to follies, to eccentric home-built structures, to shrines, lighthouses and fairytales.

“There are much-loved buildings all over the county and the country built in the same spirit.

“It is not a large structure – and it does not seek to dominate its surroundings. The house is to be discovered with what I hope will be delight by passers-by on the footpath.

“I have a deep fondness for Essex and I am happy to invest a large chunk of my energy and time into a project that I feel will add greatly to the cultural standing of the area.”

Charles Holland, of FAT, added: “It is a hybrid building; part house and part gallery. Internally, this combination of domestic and formal uses creates a rich interplay between public and private space.”

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