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Fayland House

Tapio Snellman

A gentle and sophisticated invasion of the English countryside.


Tapio Snellman's short film interprets delicately and silently the simple and yet very sophisticated design of David Chipperfield Architects's family house in Buckinghamshire (Southern England).

The camera lingers on the well balanced relationship between the outdoor and the interior spaces of this single-storey residence without interfering with it. The viewer can appreciate the close connection between the pale white brickwork and its spectacular surroundings, a densely wooded chalk escarpment that has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1965.

People are absent in the video, apart from some accidental presence in the backdrop. Time seems still, frozen. Both in and outside the house. The only living being is a dog, that appears as an involuntary guide and with smooth, slowed down movements takes the viewers from the main internal living room - arranged in continuous enfilade of spectacular elevated views across the valley - to the wide south-facing loggia. The London based film maker explores from multiple perspectives the stately rhythm of the external colonnade, a sheltered outdoor space that is framed by eleven round columns along the entire length of the facade and connects many of the rooms inside the building with the beautiful landscape of the Chiltern Hills in a silent and constant dialogue.

Snellman delicately unveils to the audience the dual nature of the British architect's vision for his elegant country house, that appears "as a natural escarpment in the landscape" while at the same time it "affirms itself as a man-made structure", as the project team says.

The short film "Fayland House" was commissioned by the Architectural Review when David Chipperfield Architects's project won the Architectural Review House Award in June 2015.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: David Chipperfield Architects
Mentioned project: Fayland House (2009-2013)
Project location: Buckinghamshire, England
Camera assistant: Diego Pitarch
Music: Aaron Mist

United Kingdom 2015
Duration: 3'32''