Inspired by Mondrian: Huf Haus meets Bauhaus

Aristotle said: “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” 

He meant that through the forms we create, we speak a language that goes beyond aesthetics and suggests more deeply who we are, what we think and what we strive for. That can certainly be said of this home in the Somerset countryside. 

Surrounded by bucolic vistas and tranquil scenery, this angular Huf Haus is strikingly juxtaposed with its undulating surroundings, and yet its geometric forms frame the views as if their intention was always to celebrate the natural world.

Art imitating life

Turning a prefabricated formula into a one of a kind architectural experience, the interiors of this property were inspired by Piet Mondrian and his distinctive abstract ‘Wall Works’. The segmented windows framing picturesque views of grazing cattle draw the perfect parallel with Mondrian’s belief that art reflects the underlying spirituality of nature, and his interest in simplifying the natural world to the most basic elements in his paintings.

Given this artistic influence, it is fitting that the home is peppered with paintings and sculptures throughout. Given pride of place in purposefully created nooks, at once art creates a reverential atmosphere and a deeply personal sense of style. Of particular note is a vibrant Chagall, an impressive anthropomorphic bronze bird, and a bespoke partition wall where an open shelf enables you to see the resident sculpture from both sides.

Art extends to the choice of furniture as well. Around the dining table you will see pops of primary colour on the chairs, in true Mondrian style. Meanwhile, the wasp-waisted bar stools are an ode to midcentury New York designer Norman Cherner.

Pieces of a puzzle

For all its artistic merit, one of the most striking features of this home is its inherent functionality. Attention to the details of daily life has clearly been paid as strict architectural protocol dances with artistic flair and the rituals of everyday existence. This is a home that provides familial comfort and practicality whilst celebrating the life enhancing joy of creativity.

The designer has played with space, preserving Bauhaus simplicity through a combination of recessed elements and those that sit proud, masking the clutter of daily life but providing easy and seamless access to everything from workspaces to kitchen utensils. 

Using every tool in their arsenal, the designer has employed state of the art technology as well as ingenuity and imagination. Touch to open drawers and cupboards as well as painstakingly placed lighting by Occhio means that you only see what they want you to see thanks to carefully placed spotlights strategically giving art and sculpture the stage. Even the iceless ice-bucket from Kaelo sits flush with the worktop, chilling the champagne and providing an inevitable talking point at parties.

Nature vs nurture

While the house is inescapably modern, standing boldly on the landscape with no desire to shy away from the spotlight, nature certainly plays a starring role. 

It was clearly not lost on the designers that with the vast amount of glass and the framed views, the look and feel of the house would dramatically change with the seasons. Choosing to work in harmony with omnipotent Mother Nature, the house doesn’t merely open itself to the natural world, but reflects it in its textures and materials. From suede finishes to oak veneers and stone worktops, all evolve as the light temperature changes. This is all brought together by the light, which sets the mood in the day and is mimicked by the Occhio fittings to seamlessly transition into evening without diminishing the atmosphere.

Hard lines are softened and the white noise of daily life is silenced as art and life, nature and nurture, architecture and anthropomorphic birds come together and work in harmony. It is as if every component has found its rightful place in the world, and all it took was a designer’s touch to tease them into place.

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