How does the architecture affect how you behave? How does the architecture make you feel about yourself? In what way does the architecture in which you grow up affect your character?
In any other context, such questions would be so far removed from everyday application as to be defunct. But these conversation card pointers were apt in their context: The Dune House, by Living Architecture.
Standing among the dunes of Thorpeness, the three-year old house is the work of one of Norway’s most revered practices: Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects. And as you draw up to the house, tyres crunching towards the house, the effect of the house is felt.
Seated between the brambles and stalks of English dunes and the grey and purple pebbles of the shore, the view of the North Sea is the backdrop of the front door. Picture-perfect glass walls are softened by the warmth of the conceptual wooden roofs, echoing the gabled roofs in the area.
Upon entering the house, the straight corridor leads guests towards the seafront, eyes to the horizon before the luxury of the ground floor draws you back in. Suggestions of caramel leather seating lie beyond a seamless kitchen and large dining area, encased by the warmth of wooden ceilings.
Bedrooms epitomise the Norwegian aesthetic; angular yet warm, with real depth of design, instilling a richness that differed from the playfulness of the nearby Balancing Barn (pictured, below). Freestanding bathtubs stand next to custom-height windows, allowing the bathing guest the luxury of a windswept view. Handmade blankets heavy in geometric neon adorn each cotton bedspread, with complimentary cushions in each window seat.
And behaviour is affected accordingly, with our party standing taller as we grouped around the kitchen surface, cooking up ambitious meals from scratch. Salty, sea swims were followed by conversations in the sun and pebble collecting. And the gaze of awestruck onlookers was met with acceptance, invited as it was by the Living Architecture.