Inspired Living: Fonthill Castle

My sister Becky took me to a remarkable house .   Henry Chapman Mercer was a lover of handmade things who thought the industrial revolution would mean their end.  He feared fire and loved idiosyncratic building techniques, so built his house of cast concrete to be the ultimate handmade architecture to house his personal collection of objects.  It is a warm and welcoming structure with columns and stairs everywhere.  Tiles from his Moravian Tile Works were cast into the vaulted ceilings and cover the walls.  The ceilings and walls were cast over boxes stacked up and covered with dirt and finally sand to make the forms of the rooms.  His team then poured the concrete and later dug out the cavity of the rooms.
Walls are covered with a mix of his tiles and also historic surveys of different cultures and their tile making techniques.  Windows in his study, for example, have more than 100 years of delft tiles imbedded in the walls around the windows ordered by age.
Every surface has things to discover.  Book prints right next to Cuniform Tablets next to Moravian Tile mosaics.

Mercer is also the man behind the nearby Mercer Museum- my favorite museum in the world.

Fonthill does not allow pictures- so the first ones here are culled from the internet. Bergdorf Goodman did a stunning photoshoot there.

photo: mserfass


Photo: mserfass


photo: mserfass

photo: mserfass


Photo: Scott's phone

photo: Scott's phone