A House for Essex

A House for Essex

A House for Essex by Grayson Perry & FAT Architects Commissioned by Living Architecture

Manningtree, Essex

May 2015

millimetre’s intuitive craftsmanship was instrumental to the creation of Living Architecture’s remarkable two-bedroom holiday home, designed by Grayson Perry and FAT architects. Nicknamed ‘The Gingerbread House’, the eccentric chapel-like folly, set in rolling Essex fields, is a shrine to the life of Julie Cope, an imaginary woman whose biography is written as a poem by Perry. People can stay in the holiday home, in line with the ethos of Living Architecture. millimetre was commissioned to develop and build key elements of the building including:

Exterior: Trio of Roof Icons millimetre developed, fabricated and installed the sunburst, lantern and Julie icons on the roof, derived from Grayson’s sketches. millimetre craftsmen hand-carved timber formers from lime wood, using datum points from the drawings (along with a keen eye). The sunburst and Julie formers were cast in aluminium in two halves, welded around a structural armature, then polished to a mirrored finish. The triangular, dypyramid, stainless steel lantern was glazed and fitted with a powerful LED lamp. All details for the roof icons, from the connection to the structure to the material and finish, were developed by millimetre.

Interior: millimetre was responsible for developing, making and installing the kitchen, the freestanding dresser and the dining table. In the main living space, millimetre built and installed the large, full-height, vibrant screen on one wall. The team restored the Honda C90 chandelier, suspended from the apex of the ceiling, and built the banquette seating and the bi-fold cabinets either side of the main entrance.

Artwork installation: millimetre installed the Grayson Perry artworks inside the building, including the life-size ceramic statue of Julie Cope housed within the living room screen, three large ceramic pots and four of his large-scale tapestries.

Living Architecture
Photography: © Jack Hobhouse