When in Colorado you won’t want to miss visiting Bishops Castle, an extraordinary work of one man. For 40 years, Jim Bishop has been building a castle on a mountainside in central Colorado. Every year since 1969, Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress
in the middle of nowhere.
With the help of his parents Jim saved up and bought himself a two and
a half acre plot of land in rural Colorado, planning to hunt and live on it.
A frontier spirit, when Jim decided it was time for him and his wife to get
a house, he figured he would build it himself. What started as a one room
stone cottage would soon grow to astounding proportions: it may be the
largest one-man architecture project in the world. Today the frontier
fortress reaches over 16 stories high, has three large cathedral windows,
wrought iron walkways and a steel fire-breathing dragon. Today Jim Bishop
is 63 and is still building. It is unlikely he will stop anytime soon.
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This redeemed castle is stunning, I could live here.
Creativity, renovation and conservation at its absolute
best. Beautifully detailed and crafted.
Kudos to architectural firm Witherford Watson Mann
for winning the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize, an annual award
recognizing the best in British architecture, for their
refurbishment of the 12th Century Astley Castle
in Warwickshire, England.
The medieval walls remain standing, gashes and all.
The renewed detailed construction of brick, concrete
and wood sits entirely within the ancient footprint,
visually enriched by the Castle’s imperfect remains.
As the architects explain, “The house is animated by
slashes of sunlight on stone walls and views over the
ancient landscape. At the dining table, you look out
from twelfth and twenty-first century construction
to fifteenth and seventeenth century walls –
the dialogue across the centuries frames
conversations between friends.”
A deserved recognition indeed.