A House for Essex – Manningtree, England - Atlas Obscura
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A House for Essex

Manningtree, England

This surreal art house looks like a geometric version of a small chapel. 


Designed by artist Grayson Perry with help from the FAT architecture firm, A House For Essex is a bizarre, structural work of housing art complete with a story involving a fictional owner who was killed by a delivery boy. 

Completed in 2015, the two-room bit of architectural eccentricity hits near an estuary in the village of Wrabness in Essex, England. The strange little house was the work Perry, previously best known for his cross-dressing performances, who commissioned the building based on years-old sketches. The exterior is covered in triangular tiles of alternating green and white leading up to a cascade of peaked roofs that look like they could collapse in on each other like a nesting doll. Each roof peak has its own abstract weathervane-like feature, each standing sharp contrast to the one before and after it. 

The inside of the building houses a collection of Perry’s works, all of which revolve around the fictional character, Julie, to whom the home is dedicated.

According to the fabricated lore surrounding the house, Julie was born in 1953 and had a banal pair of marriages before being killed in an accident involving a delivery driver on a moped. The house is said to have been built by her second husband as a shrine to her life.

People can apply to stay the night in the crazy little cottage like it was a bed and breakfast, although with the popularity of the bizarre home getting in is not easy.    

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