Portmeirion is one of the wonders of Wales. This colourful Italianate village, established on the Welsh coast by the extraordinary—and eccentric—self-taught architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, demonstrates the force of his belief that beauty is a “strange necessity”. That Strange Necessity offers a visual and poetic tribute to his creation, a place of pilgrimage for all who care about the quality of the relationship between the built and natural environment. On a smaller scale, Portmeirion deserves to be set beside cities like Bath, Oxford–even Venice–for its successful harmonisation of form and function.
Designed as a series of seven walks across and around the village and radiating out into the wild garden to the west of Portmeirion, this book portrays in paint and verse the buildings, monuments and sights that comprise its strange integrity and strong attraction for all who ‘have eyes to see’. The Introduction provides a concise history of Portmeirion–from pre-historic times to the present day–and a short account of the life of its architect, together with an explanation of the design of the seven walks, the choice of sights, and the inspiration that shaped the poems and pictures. Maps make it easy for visitors to follow the walks and find their way around the village and the wilderness beyond.
In words and images That Strange Necessity offers visions of Portmeirion, a place created in the twentieth century by a visionary architect, but which now seems timeless in its beauty, endlessly fascinating, and inspiring to all who visit it.
JOHN ELINGER is an award-winning poet and the nom de plume of Sir Christopher Ball, first Chancellor of the University of Derby and Honorary Fellow of Glendower University.
PETER HONEY is a freelance Occupational Psychologist and author of many best-selling management books. He has always loved painting watercolours.
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