Grand design for pianist’s house
Architect designs a stunning house in Exeter to accommodate two pianos
An architect has created a dream house in a former city garden for a pianist and her two grand pianos.
The pianist, who sold her previous home to fund the replacement of a lean-to in her garden, commissioned David Sheppard Architects to create a stunning new building, called ‘Chimes’, which uses curved spaces to help with the acoustics.
‘The owner is a superb pianist,’ says Sheppard. ‘And the principle objective was to have one space with room for two pianos, and a small house for minimal living. Within that brief I had carte blanche to come up with this design.’
The architect approached the design ‘almost like a sculptor, carving the space out of a square block’. He used curved walls, in and outside the building, which are lined with beech plywood panels and striking narrow slot windows to bring in light and maintain privacy for the pianist. And the two grand pianos take pride of place in the building’s top floor. Sheppard also drew on the ideas of ‘eurythmy’, which looks at the expression of movement in art and music, as devised by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
The construction lasted 15 months and cost £284,000. View more pictures of the house here.
Photos © Joakim Boren
Three more spectacular music-inspired buildings
Piano House, Huainan, China
This extraordinary building is shaped like a grand piano with a transparent violin leaning against it. Designed by architectural students at Hefey University of Technology in conjunction with a local decoration company, the Piano House is constructed from black and transparent glass. With a scale of 50:1 it has an entrance is the giant violin and it has escalators leading up to the main grand piano-shaped area.
Dancing House, Prague, Czech Republic
Resembling something from a cartoon animation, the bizarre Dancing House in Prague is built in the constructivist architectural style. It sits in a square of 18th- and 19th-century buildings and is supported by 99 concrete pillars. Designed by architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, the latter named the house ‘Fred and Ginger’ after the Hollywood dancing legends Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Grand Guitar, Tennesssee, US
The Grand Guitar Museum in Bristol, Tennessee, has perhaps the most eye-catching publicity possible: a building shaped like a giant guitar. ‘You are invited to see how it feels to be inside a grand guitar’ boasts the museum. The giant guitar construction is 70-feet long and three stories tall with windows placed along the fret board. Inside are hundreds of instruments, including ukuleles, banjos and dulcimers. And it even houses its own historic radio station.