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Alain de Botton turns travel agent

Philosophical writer Alain de Botton may be well known for his essay works on love, travel and even architecture, but a travel agent he is not. It's a surprise, then, to hear he has branched out of literature to help set up a new organisation called Living Architecture.

Living Architecture takes its cue from The Landmark Trust (a charity that offers holiday makers a chance to stay in otherwise private or inaccessible buildings both for public interest and as a way of preserving them), but instead of historic castles, lighthouses and listed cottages, Living Architecture gives people the opportunity to rent a holiday home designed by an outstanding architectural practice such as Peter Zumthor or Michael & Patty Hopkins.

Three out of six commissioned holiday homes are open for booking (including The Balancing Barn, pictured) despite being unfinished and all offer incredibly affordable rates that start from £24 per night, per person. A bargain if you'd like to stay in a house that hangs off a hill, or a building made from rammed concrete. These buildings may be challenging, but with a budget price tag, they allow everyday people a chance to stay in a place of innovative architectural vision. See for more info.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.