Rent out and stay in architect-designed homes through Holidayarchitecture website

Dezeen promotion: holiday makers can stay in houses designed by Peter Zumthor, Piet Hein Eek or John Pawson by booking through online network Holidayarchitecture (+ slideshow).

Holidayarchitecture – also known as Urlaubsarchitektur – helps users to advertise their architecturally interesting properties for short-term holiday rentals, and lets others book unusual places to stay.

Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites by Shane de Blacam, de Blacam and Meagher, Ireland
Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites by Shane de Blacam, de Blacam and Meagher, Ireland. Photograph by Inis Meáin

The website launched in 2007 when founder Jan Hamer decided to publicise a recommendations list that would allow people to enjoy homes with interesting features while on vacation.

"The appetite for staying in places of architectural interest is growing exponentially," said Hamer. "It's everything from the smell of a holiday house, to the sounds that one hears waking up in a different place and the feel of the materials."

Aufberg 1113 by Meck Architect and Prof Andreas Meck, Salzburg. Photograph is by Michael Heinrich
Aufberg 1113 by Meck Architect and Prof Andreas Meck, Salzburg. Photograph by Michael Heinrich

"Ultimately we hope that people will realise the incredible impact that good design has on the emotions and the environment," he added.

Over 400 properties are available for rental from the site. These include Zumthor's wooden cabins built for his family in the mountain hamlet of Leis in Vals and Eek's renovated old mill in France's Dordogne region.

Le Moulin and Le Four by Piet Hein Eek, France. Photograph is by Thomas Mayer
Le Moulin and Le Four by Piet Hein Eek, France. Photograph by Thomas Mayer

Houses are arranged into different categories depending on the type of holiday, including urban, seaside, ski and spa. There is also a separate section for vineyard vacations.

The website provides images of the properties, a description of their architectural features and links to the architect's websites. A search bar lets users explore the site according to their chosen house type, location and architect.

Cottages by Peter Zumthor, Switzerland. Photograph is by Ralph Feiner courtesy of Zumthor Ferienhäuser
Cottages by Peter Zumthor, Switzerland. Photograph by Ralph Feiner courtesy of Zumthor Ferienhäuser

Designers such as Zumthor and Pawson have pages dedicated to their properties.

Holzhaus am Auerbach's home with projecting terraces that extend the living space outdoors in Upper Bavaria, Germany is one of the properties featured, as is a concrete house in the Swiss Alps by Nickisch Sano Walder Architects built from remnants of a log cabin.

Solo Houses Casa Pezo by Pezo from Ellrichshausen Architects, Spain. Photograph by Cristobal Palmer
Solo Houses Casa Pezo by Pezo from Ellrichshausen Architects, Spain. Photograph by Cristobal Palmer

Hamer also creates books in German and English with illustrations of the latest properties on offer. The publications include essays by philosophers and critics, discussing the notion of holiday architecture.

To view the list of properties and find out more, visit the Holidayarchitecture website.

The Urban Treehouse by Andreas Wenning, Germany. Photograph is by Laura Fiori
The Urban Treehouse by Andreas Wenning, Germany. Photograph by Laura Fiori

Read on for more information from Holidayarchitecture:


Urlaubsarchitektur/Holidayarchitecture – special homes away from home

A holiday is "an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling".

Holidayarchitecture is about staying in a different home, a home of architectural excellence with an integrated aesthetic vision, realised by the owner.

Each home or site has been hand picked by architect and holidayarchitecture.com founder Jan Hamer. In 2007 Hamer decided to go public with his private list of recommendations for inspiring places to stay. He launched a website that now illustrates over 400 houses, with links to book; and more are being added all the time.

Aavego by Søren Sarup, Denmark
Aavego by Søren Sarup, Denmark. Photograph by Aavego

"The appetite for staying in places of architectural interest is growing exponentially," says Hamer, "and both private owners and more seasoned developers are picking up on the fact that this is fast becoming a very real form of additional revenue."

He adds: "The fact that architects are now awarded the same level of recognition as contemporary artists is clearly part of this whole trend that is seeing stronger demand for visionary domestic environments."

The Holidayarchitecture sites are helpfully grouped on the website into categories such as modern or traditional (including subsections on old and new listed buildings); urban or seaside; ski or spa. There is even a separate "wine" section for those keen to stay in a vineyard. Accommodation ranges from holiday homes to apartments and hotels, so that there is something for everyone, from the solo traveller to families and couples, from the architectural aficionado to the design fan.

Els Comellars by John Pawson and Claudio Silvestrin, Spain. Photograph is by Andre Rival
Els Comellars by John Pawson and Claudio Silvestrin, Spain. Photograph by Andre Rival

Each listing is plentifully illustrated, the architectural features are described in detail and a link is given to the architect's website. One might choose a Peter Zumthor log house in the dramatic Swiss Alps above his famous Vals spa; an ode to Minimalism by the masters of the art Claudio Silvestrin and John Pawson in the fragrant almond groves of Southern Majorca; or a gloriously restored rustic/modern mill house in the Dordogne by designer Piet Hein Eek.

Hamer brings out an annual bilingual (German/English) highlights book with sumptuous illustrations of the latest properties on offer, commissioning essays by philosophers and critics to reflect on what it is that makes holiday architecture so special. "It's everything from the smell of a holiday house, to the sounds that one hears waking up in a different place and the feel of the materials. One's senses are reinvigorated; one notices new things. Ultimately we hope that people will realise the incredible impact that good design has on the emotions and the environment," he says "and stay with us more often!"

Submit a house for consideration for the holidayarchitecture.com website.