Contemplate the simple wonder of existence, in a serene architect-designed retreat set amongst the rolling mid-Welsh hills.
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights

If modern digital life is bringing you down, Life House is the remedy that dreams are made of.

Expertly designed by the celebrated architect John Pawson CBE, in collaboration with the philosopher Alain de Botton, this is an unsurpassed sanctuary of beauty and simplicity, specifically created to restore the soul, and to contemplate life in all its timeless glory.

Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s classic ‘Walden’, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, you’ll find Life House amongst the rolling, unspoilt Welsh hills, near the sleepy village of Llanbister.

(Sleeping up to six guests, you can even bring the dog along to appreciate the calmness of your surroundings).

Constructed from hand-made Danish bricks, Life House is set on one level, filled with seemingly endless amounts of space to discover. With its bleached wood, gleaming terrazzo floors, and bare-bricked walls that reflect natural light, there’s no clutter or extraneous detail here – indeed, Marie Kondo would be proud!  

The beautiful timber-lined kitchen is a pleasure to cook in, and you’ll find gazing out of the picture window irresistible as you dine…on crockery that’s also bespoke-designed by John Pawson.

Head to the lounge for after-dinner conversation, or just to lie on the enormous L-shaped couch with a good book for a while, in front of the freestanding wood-burner.

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At a glance

  • An architect and philosopher-created haven for six guests and one well-behaved dog, soothingly located amongst the rolling mid-Welsh hills, near the village of Llanbister.
  • Ideal for switching off your phones and revelling in the simple pleasures of life.
  • The house includes three en-suite bedrooms, each one dedicated to a meditative activity (reading, music, and bathing), and bespoke contemplation areas.
  • Take an artist-curated walk along one of the many routes surrounding the house, or indulge in thrill-seeking activities including mountain hikes and canoeing close by.


  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly


Serene, architect-designed house for up to six guests.  Covered porch entrance into a well-equipped kitchen, with designer crockery/cutlery.  Dining area for six guests.  Lounge area with L-shaped couch, large freestanding wood-burner.  Three spacious en-suite bedrooms, each with beds and furnishings dedicated to a meditative activity: deep bath tub for bathing, books for reading, music for listening. Corridor leading to a ‘hidden’ contemplation room, seating, retractable glazed roof.  Board games and DVDs provided.

Local Activities

Walking, cycling, mountain hiking, canoeing, birdwatching, village life.

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You’ll also have the option of spending precious downtime in the contemplation areas, including a hillside chamber with a stargazing skylight, or a peaceful outdoor area that showcases the mountains.

Meanwhile, each of the three en-suite bedrooms is dedicated to a specific introspective activity. One is home to a deep, standalone bath with valley views, one contains therapeutic books by authors including Tolstoy and Aristotle, and one is equipped with a hi-fi system and a range of specially-selected CDs.

What to do by day? With Life House surrounded by a sequence of artist-curated walks, you can take yourself off on a meandering journey on foot. And of course, with Wales being the UK’s adventure capital, if you’re in a more thrill-seeking mood, you can indulge in activities from mountain hikes to canoeing in the local area.

Head back to enjoy an old-fashioned board game with your loved ones by evening, or simply go your separate ways for a while, and immerse yourselves in all the unique wonders Life House has to offer.  

Things to note

Life House is family-friendly and suited to those with limited mobility, with all accommodation on one level. If bringing your dog, please note that cattle graze in the adjacent fields.

Where you'll be staying

Llanbister, Radnorshire

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