That Strange Necessity

Portmeirion Cymru That Strange Necessity

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Poems by John Elinger Illustrations by Peter Honey

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. 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.

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