A House for Essex
A House for Essex, also known as ‘Julie’s House’, is a conceptual holiday home located at the end of a secluded cul-de-sac in Wrabness, Essex, overlooking the River Stour.
Commissioned by the philosopher Alain de Botton as part of his Living Architecture series, it was created by the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry in collaboration with the architecture studio FAT.
The house is a ‘mausoleum’ for a fictional Essex woman Julie Cope, which was built by her husband after a tragic accident. In this sense, it has been described as the ‘Taj Mahal of Essex’.
Completed in 2015, after five years in the making, the house comprises four incrementally-smaller sections with a copper-clad roof based on the complex pitches of medieval stave churches, with each of the segments expressed externally as a volume in its own right..
The outer structure is covered in green and white tiles and elaborately decorated with ornaments including a wheel, a large ceramic egg, an aluminium weather vane, and thousands of ceramic nipples.
The interior is dominated by similarly elaborate iconography depicting the fictional Julie as a saint, with mouldings, mosaic floors, tapestries, balconies, and decorative timber, ceramic pots, statues and glazing. There are also a number of art works by Perry, celebrating the ‘history and psyche of Essex.’
After featuring as the subject of a Channel 4 documentary in 2015, the house is open to the public for short-stay holiday lets through ballot selection.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Britain’s greatest maverick building.
- Building of the week series.
- Dancing House, Prague.
- Little Crooked House, Poland.
- Mimetic architecture.
- Nautilus House.
- Plug-In to Housing.
- Schuppen house.
- St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow.
- Unusual building design of the week.
- Upside Down House, Poland.
- Watts Towers.
- Y House.
 External resources
Featured articles and news
How thermal comfort is quantified and how it can affect wellbeing.
Snøhetta complete a treehouse cabin that allows guests to lie beneath the Northern Lights.
Christiania is an anarchist 'freetown' in Copenhagen where strange and experimental architecture has flourished.
“UK waste data needs improving” say BRE specialists, in this summary of their report into construction waste.
UandI announce new joint venture with US developer to work on office refurbishment projects.
BSRIA give critical response to Theresa May's speech on leaving the EU.
Why buildings crack, how cracks are categorised and what can be done.
Inaugurated last week, the new Elbphilharmonie concert venue; a soaring new addition to Hamburg's skyline.
Summary of a new ICE Transport journal which says improving transport infrastructure is essential to eradicating global poverty.
BRE look at a new government report into the accuracy of heat meters.
Herzog & de Meuron get planning permission for revamp of Chelsea FC football stadium.