Will you rent Grayson Perry's fairytale house?

A House For Essex

Holidaymakers will next year be able to rent a true work of art, with the unveiling of artist Grayson Perry's A House for Essex.

Near Wrabness on the North Essex coast, the extraordinary building overlooks the wide Stour estuary. With strong references to wooden Russian architecture, it's designed to be reminiscent of a wayside chapel.

Perry was inspired by fairytales, and Hansel-and-Gretel house is an astonishing sight. It's clad in 2,000 glossy, green-and-white ceramic tiles, with a series of golden, copper-alloy roofs descending in size along the building. Four sculptures stand on top, above several curved dormer windows.

A House for Essex was designed through a collaboration with architects firm FAT - also responsible for the very-different BBC production village in Cardiff. Unfortunately, this is their last project together.

The inside hasn't been completed yet, but Perry says that, as with much of his work, it will tell the story of an imaginary character - in this case, former inhabitant 'Julie'. Objects from her life will be scattered through the house, giving visitors tantalising glimpses of her life story. Perry hasn't given much away, except to say that the internal works will include ceramic tiles and tapestries.

Plan of The House for Essex

But as well as being a work of art, the building will be a fully-functional house, with a double-height living room, two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. And once it's completed - early next year, according to the plan - it will be available for holiday lets through non-profit organisation Living Architecture.

Other unusual hotels

Living Architecture says it aims to allow anybody to experience living inside world-class architecture. It specialises in highly-unusual properties - A House for Essex will be its sixth. The others include the Balancing Barn - a 30-metre building with glass floors that hangs partially in mid-air - and A Room for London, a boat-shaped hotel room moored on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

For those that can't wait until next spring to try out one of Living Architecture's follies, the Balancing Barn is available now; sleeping eight, it costs from £1,305 for four days mid-week.

Alternatively, holidaymakers looking for something a little different could head for Sunborn London, a new hotel on a superyacht moored in East London. Or you could try Unusual Hotels of the World, which has dozens of UK properties, including three fortresses in the Solent, a Cornish treehouse - and a pigsty designed along classical principles.

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