Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Flint House

Went to see Flint House, the Grand Design winner 2015
Didn't look like this when I saw it yesterday it was almost buried in thistles going to seed, about hip height. 

It was supposed to have been a wild flower garden, but it had no flowers at all, however, it did have an electric fence around it that we were warned not to touch. 

The huge glass windows made the house interiors really over hot and stuffy, even though the back and front doors were open. Apparently the heating was on and couldn't be turned off.

It is a fantastic work of art. But it's not a place to live in my opinion. The flint tiles leading to the front door were coming up and were wobbly, just the place to turn an ankle!  We were warned about this as we went in.  Also about the slippy slate bridge without handrails over the moat around the house, and the uneven nature of the steps and level changes.

The house had sunken baths that looked impossible to get out of. The decoration of the house was quite random, coloured giant building blocks were mixed with antiques in the bedrooms, 2ft high tin soldiers stood in the upper walkway intersperced with knitted Thai
tiger heads.

The trendy chairs that looked like cotton reels outside were standing like plant pots at the edge of the patio. The kitchen would not work for someone who loves to cook like me. It had a flat screen tv a kettle and a toaster, and the obligatory bowl of colourful fruit to "dress" it.

I tried to walk to the annexe, but by this time I was feeling sick and getting dizzy again and the flint and grass railway tracks leading up the slope outside the house were difficult to negotiate, not able to step between the tracks, or walk on the flint, I decided with my dizziness, that coming back down would be an accident waiting to happen for me.

What is it there for? It was a present for one of the family - but they didn't want it. So now it
may house VIPs or visiting academics. It may be open to the public, it may not. It may be a weekend private retreat - it may not.  It can't be let as a holiday let. 

Along the North Norfolk coast, many houses wear flint dressings, here's a holiday cottage
and I bet they are a lot more user friendly.  They may not be full of expensive art but
they are near the beach, and I bet you won't break your neck negotiating your way to the
bathroom up and down steps in the middle of the night!

Horses for Courses naturally.   I do like modern buildings, not brutalist style, but buildings
that have a "wow" factor, that make you think, "I'd love to live here."  For me Flint House left me cold. How such an impractical piece of work won a design award is beyond me. The winding stairs to the bedrooms were tiny wooden and dangerous, as a piece of modern art I suppose it can sit and be admired amongst the overgrown thistles and electric fences.

And another thing!  One of the house guides actually apologised that some of the bedroom articles came from John Lewis!! Quel damage!!

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