Olivia Harrisonto the century Olivia Trinidad Ariaswidow of George Harrison, she applied to build a yoga studio on the grounds of the villa she shared with her husband.
Olivia was George’s second wife (after Pattie Boyd) and mother of his only child Dhani
Olivia and Dhani have been very determined in preserving George’s legacy. The woman is gracious, elegant and up to the task of representing George in the extended family of Beatles. Olivia Harrison (74 years old) recently presented plans for the construction of a glass structure to be placed in the gardens of Friar Parkthe magnificent neo-Gothic villa which George Harrison bought in 1970.
George and the spiritual component
Harrison, who died aged 58 in 2001, was the band’s most spiritual member and famously practiced yoga and transcendental meditation. During his lifetime she recounted how he was more at peace surrounded by nature on his vast estate in Oxfordshirewhere he developed the “decidedly non-rock-star pastimeof gardening.
Insiders said Olivia ‘clearly had her heritage in mind’ when plans for the new building were presented to South Oxfordshire District Council
He wants the studio and gymnasium to be built on part of the estate”mainly used for leisure” on a lawned garden next to the outdoor pool and a pavilion. It would run parallel to a hedge dividing the tennis court from the recreation area. The planning documents state that the character approach of the 10ft x 23ft structure is “deliver a contemporary style building surrounded by glass walls to connect its use with the context of nature and use designs and elements that match the existing pavilion in its immediate context“. ‘
The freestanding studio features three walls of glass, one with sliding doors, set on a suspended concrete platform finished with porcelain tiles. Part of the platform would extend out to allow for outdoor exercise. Below the plan, the back wall, covered in iroko wood, will have the possibility of containing the equipment inside to limit the encumbrance.
Shaun Tanner Architecture and Planning, who designed the new yoga studio, said:
“The choice of materials and elements has been carefully selected to ensure the on-site delivery of a minimalist and contemporary building, which also relates to the existing pavilion opposite. ‘The proposal aims to create a single storey open plan annex, with a flexible layout to suit the proposed use of a gymnasium and yoga room, with utility equipment concealed within the walls and an external deck section and creating a small terrace in the front, where the occupant can also practice for yoga and outdoor exercises.”
The 120-room Victorian mansion, built in 1889, is Grade II listed, while the 62-acre estate has been designated a “historic designed landscape of national significance which is listed by Historic England on the register of parks and gardens of special historic interest“. Near Henley-on-Thames it is also part of a protected area and an area of “extraordinary natural beauty“. The Gardens Trustthe UK heritage charity for designed gardens and landscapes, was consulted due to the historic significance of the park’s gardens, but declined to comment.
Harrison began embracing spirituality after experimenting with LSD and meeting Swami Vishnu-devananda, the founder of Sivananda Yoga, while filming the film Help! in 1965 to the Bahamas.
George bought Friar Park as a quiet getaway from London and a place to set up a new recording studio. After the band broke up, he began to delve further into his spiritual path and his love of gardening. He separated from his first wife Pattie Boyd before marrying Olivia Trinidad Ariasborn in Mexico in 1948.
Olivia had studied meditation before meeting George
A year after her death in 2002, Olivia told NBC that Harrison he felt most at home in the gardens of Friar Park. These are his words: ‘You know, it was really nature he loved. ‘And I think she felt closer to God in nature. “Yes, he liked it here. “You know, he was originally supposed to get out of London. And so we kept getting further and further away from London. “And he found a place where he could get away from the crowd and that was it.”
She also recently opened up about her love of the nature that surrounds her home, telling theHenley Literary Festival of his recent book, Came The Lightening.
These are his words:
The book is set in the garden. My life is set in the garden. ‘The garden is a sign of life. I started by looking at the trees in the garden that have been my witnesses for the past 45 years. ‘When we came to live in Henley, George just wanted peace after a tumultuous decade. “He lived there as a refuge to find some semblance of life.”
Musicians including Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison visited the house, which had one of the best recording studios in England
In an interview with Good Morning America of David Hartman in 1981, George said:
I decided to become a gardener. ‘I like the garden. In the garden you see all the seasons come and go, and whatever you do can affect everything. “But at the same time the flowers don’t answer you. Don’t give yourself trouble. Is very cute.“
The couple’s love for the house remained despite a dramatic episode that occurred in December 1999, when an intruder (Michael Abrams) broke into the property and ha repeatedly stabbed Harrison.
The response to Olivia’s request is expected to be decided in early January 2023.