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Life in a Convent

Although becoming a monk probably isn’t an easy decision (can you imagine a life without fashion, Netflix or sex), it would make for a good choice if you long for an existence with ample of time for contemplation and theorizing. Dutchman Hans van der Laan joined a Benedictine monastery at the age of 23, and spent much of his life thinking about how to create a proportional system on which all architecture could be designed. It garnered worldwide acclaim and is still admired by architects across the globe.

One of the architect-monk’s projects is Mariavall, a Benedictine abbey just outside the small Swedish town of Tomelilla, not more than a 20 minute car ride from TypeO House. Naturally, we had to pay the impressive building a visit. If you’re in the area, the nuns welcome visitors during office hours, and even offer retreats for those who wish to stay longer.

Text and photography: Micha van Dinther

TypeO Journal

Slow Living in the Swedish countryside. Updated every Saturday.