Life House

  • Location: Countryside
    Llandrindod Wells for shops and restaurants: 11 miles (18 mins by car)
    Knighton for shops and restaurants: 15 miles ( 25 mins by car)
    Elan Valley for beautiful hikes and walks: 18 miles (30 mins by car)
    Powys castle: 30 miles ( 45 mins by car)
  • Birmingham Airport (BHX): 87 miles (2hs by car)
    Liverpool Airport (LPL): 97 miles (2hs 10 mins by car)
    Car recommended
    Free parking
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An introduction to Life House

How would you describe Life House in a nutshell?

Designed by John Pawson, Life House is an architectural retreat nestled in the rolling hills near Llanbister, Wales. It has been meticulously crafted with bespoke design features and space to accommodate up to six guests (plus a well-behaved dog).

What is the story behind Life House, what was the architect’s inspiration to create it?

Completed in 2016, Life House was designed as a retreat — a place where guests could experience periods of contemplation surrounded by the stunning landscapes of mid-Wales. It was constructed from more than 80,000 handmade Danish bricks, which have been combined with polished terrazzo floors and Douglas fir timber ceilings to create a calming space. 

With a footprint of just over 250 square metres, Life House features two long corridors positioned at right angles to one another. These lead to two contemplation spaces — one semi-submerged with a retractable roof panel and the other immersed in the wider landscape. Here, guests are invited to spend time relaxing, thinking and listening while being in touch with nature. 

In addition to the open-plan kitchen, living and dining space, there are three bedrooms designed to offer different ways of finding serenity. One has a library filled with books curated by John Pawson while another has a state-of-the-art valve Hi-Fi and sound library selected by Young Turks record label owner Caius Pawson. The third bedroom features a tub with picture windows overlooking the surrounding landscape and is focused on finding serenity through bathing. 

What was the architect’s philosophy when designing the house?

Life House was envisioned with a philosophy of “less is more” — it features simple forms and was constructed with a limited palette of materials. It’s about the pure simplicity of design and creating comfortable spaces that nurture life-affirming experiences.

What makes the house so special?

Despite its architectural simplicity, Life House has been superbly crafted as a place to nurture contemplation and restoration. Its magnificent setting in the rolling Welsh hills also makes it special, enabling easy access to countless outdoor activities. 

Living room
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3
Kitchen and dining table
Living area
Living area
Life House
Life House

Life House rooms & rates

Life House has been designed by John Pawson as a place for calm and reflection. Located in mid Wales, near the town of Llanbister, it is a timeless example of architectural simplicity and beauty based on the concept of a retreat, where serenity, contemplation and restoration are foremost.

Guests enter Life House through a covered porch and arrive in the timber-lined kitchen, dining and living area. Framing the space are large picture windows overlooking the Welsh countryside, which allow light to flood in and bounce off the highly polished terrazzo floors and white-brick walls. For warmth, there is a large, freestanding wood heater. 

Each of the three bedrooms is located off the two main corridors, which lead to the contemplation areas. One is like a cavernous chamber partially buried into the hillside and with a retractable glazed roof for connection with the outside world. The other is set within the exterior landscape and with the Welsh mountains as a backdrop. 


Stays are only possible from Monday to Friday (4 nights) or Friday to Monday (3 nights). Weekly stays are also possible with arrival on Monday or Friday.

  • Life House for 6 people / 257 m²
    730 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 2 Double bedrooms
    • 3 Bathrooms (ensuite)
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Dining room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 1 Other rooms
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace
Included in the rates
Rates include towels and linen, an arrival pack with coffee, tea, bread, butter, olive oil and biscuits.
Optional extras
Stays are only possible from Monday to Friday (4 nights) or Friday to Monday (3 nights). Weekly stays are also possible with arrival on Monday or Friday.
Children & Extra beds
Children of all ages are welcome. There is no space for any extra beds. Please bring your own baby cot.
Minimum stay
3 nights
Check in time
after 15:00
Check out time
before 10:00

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • WiFi
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Washing machine
  • TV
  • Central heating
  • Music system
  • Iron & Board
  • Pets welcome
  • Hair dryer

High-quality Egyptian cotton bedding and hypo-allergenic pillows/duvets are provided for guests, as are hand and bath towels. In the bathrooms, we have natural body products (shampoo, body gel and hand soap) from Land&Water.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided but guests should be aware that due to our remote location, the reception can be intermittent. We also have a television, a CD player and a smart speaker, plus a library of architecture, travel and philosophy books. 

In the kitchen, there are high-quality knives, cookware, crockery and cutlery designed by John Pawson, plus two cafetières for making filter coffee and a Nespresso machine. We provide filter coffee, tea bags, milk, bread and other kitchen essentials for guests to use. Also in the house are a washing machine and a dryer, plus some wood-burning logs to get guests started. 

Please note: due to the location, the internet and mobile telephone reception can be intermittent.


  • Internet-enabled television.
  • CD player and smart speaker.
  • A library of books to keep the most avid reader happy, from local travel guides, to books on architecture and philosophy
  • Land&Water natural body products provided
  • Luxury Egyptian cotton bed linen.
  • Hypo-allergenic pillows and duvets (suitable for guests who may suffer from allergies)
  • Hand and bath towels (please bring your own outdoor towels, if required)
  • Hairdryers, Iron, ironing board and clothes airer.
  • Fan oven, combination microwave oven, induction hob, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer.
  • Kitchen equipment provided by David Mellor and When Objects Work, including DM kitchen knives, chopping boards, sieves and colanders, graters, whisks, tongs, cooking utensils, a range of saucepans (suitable for the induction hob), food blender, scales, mixing bowls, a rolling pin and pastry brush, glassware (tumblers, wine glasses, champagne flutes), John Pawson designed cutlery, a tea pot and mugs.
  • Arrival pack (tea bags, filter coffee, biscuits, semi-skimmed milk, bread, butter, olive oil, bin bags, washing up liquid, kitchen roll, hand-wash, dishwasher tablets, foil, toilet paper)
  • Two cafetières for filter coffee & Nespresso machine - please bring coffee pods to your liking.
  • Wood burner and some logs to get you started (additional logs can be purchased locally)

Things to do in Wales & Llandrindod Wells

  • Wildlife / Animals
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding

Life House is surrounded by hills and moorland crisscrossed by public paths and bridleways, such as Offa’s Dyke Path and Glyndwr’s Way. Guests can rent bicycles from Cycling Breaks Wales to explore at their leisure or go horse riding with the team at Underhill Riding Stables. Fishing is also possible nearby. 

In Llandrindod Wells, there is the National Cycle Museum and an 18-hole golf course or players can enjoy a round at the Builth Wells Golf Club. Guests can also visit the National Trust-run Powis Castle and Garden, the Red Kite Feeding Station at Gigrin Farm and the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre. 

The location of Life House

Life House is located in mid-Wales, around 10 miles from the town of Llandrindod Wells. It is just over two hours’ drive from Liverpool Airport and 2.5 hours from the airports serving Cardiff, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. The closest railway stations — Llanbister Road, Dolau and Pen-y-Bont — are 10 minutes’ drive from the property.