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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The Secular Retreat in South Devon by Peter Zumthor

June 21st, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

A space dedicated to calm, reflection and perspective, The Secular Retreat is a veritable haven from the pressures of modern life.

In South Devon, between the resorts of Salcombe and Hallsands, lies a landscape of rolling hills, wooded river valleys, patchwork fields and small stone villages. It is here that Zumthor is designing his first project in the UK – The Secular Retreat, a hill-top retreat, where people will be able to go for periods of sustained work and reflection.

The Secular retreat in South Devon

  • Architect: Atelier Peter Zumthor
  • Structural Engineer: Jane Wernick Associates
  • Quantity Surveyors: Boyden Group LLP
  • Location: South Devon, UK
  • Local architectural consultant: David Sheppard
  • Landscape consultant and design: The Rathbone Partnership

The Secular retreat in South Devon

The design makes use of an original rammed concrete that gives the building a mass and scale characteristic of a timeless example of ecclesiastical architecture.

Peter Zumthor says “The Living Architecture concept appealed to me right away. When Mark Robinson showed me the site in Chivelstone, Devon, I fell in love with the place. It felt like a unique opportunity to create a work of architecture, merging and growing out of the landscape. So now, two years later, I hope our design feels British, does have the ‘smell’ of the area, somehow, and will become part of the local chemistry of things. Visitors to the house should feel that they never want to leave, or at least want to return again and again.”

The Secular retreat in South Devon

About Peter Zumthor
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is frequently described as the greatest architect at work in the world today and was awarded the internationally prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2009. He is famous for his baths at Vals in Switzerland, his Bruder Chapel outside Cologne in Germany and his Kolumba Museum in Cologne itself. He is a master of craftsmanship, and an expert in the use of natural materials, which gives his buildings an eternal quality.

The Secular retreat in South Devon

The Secular retreat in South Devon

The Secular retreat in South Devon

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South Devon is one of the most famous of English holiday regions. It offers ample opportunities to walk, sail, surf, windsurf, fish, ride and golf.

In the holiday season, there are craft markets, open air theatres and choral concerts while out to sea, one can meet porpoises, dolphins and whales. The area is rich in birdlife including cirl bunting, egrets, peregrines, sparrowhawks and buzzards.

Near the house are lovely, sheltered beaches of Smalls Cove, Mill Bay and Sunny Cove. The unusually clear, almost tropical water attracts divers to explore the seabed and the many shipwrecks of the area.

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Categories: Peter Zumthor, Retreat

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