It was located on a city block that used to house three old mansions, but one of the other two was torn down and the other was converted to offices for the Imperium. The block was approximately a kilometer around; the guards sometimes used it for running practice. In front, there was a narrow strip of lawn and garden in the loop of a semicircular drive. The House itself was surrounded by a stone wall topped with iron spikes. It was four stories of gray stone blocks, with two main wings – northern and eastern, so the building was probably L-shaped – but with some extra bits. There was a force screen just inside the wall, and a concrete kiosk by the gate where guards were stationed.
For the longest time, the Great Entry Hall had black-and-white marble tiles as a floor. However, at the time of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Lady Ekaterin Vorkosigan had them taken out and replaced with a stone mosaic of a mixed Barrayaran and Old Earth ecosystem. Tej considered it to be a masterpiece, and Rish stated that she would love to dance over it.
Layout (Following American usage, where 2nd floor is above the ground floor)
- Sub-basement: a garage occupied the entire eastern wing.
- Basement: a huge kitchen, a refectory, a wine cellar, and the "half basement" of the north wing included a laundry room that Enrique Borgos used as a lab. Also a top-level infirmary.
- Main floor: Great Entry Hall, Second Receiving Room, sitting rooms on the east side, and the library to the left from the Great Entry Hall. Tall, narrow windows flanked the portal before the hall.
- 2nd floor: large suite, Yellow Parlor, multiple guest rooms. Taura stayed in one of these.
- 3rd floor: bedrooms, servant rooms. Aral and Cordelia's rooms. Miles' original bedroom. Old non-modernized bathroom with antique iron tub big enough to swim in. Second son's bedroom.
- 4th floor: servant rooms. Elena's bedroom. Roic's bedroom in north wing.
- Attics: multiple ones, particularly there was the north wing attic with a large collection of antique items.
- Roof: flat roof, six meters across. Trapdoor led to stairs going down to the fourth floor.
- Memory chapter 4
- "Winterfair Gifts"
- Mirror Dance chapter 11
- A Civil Campaign chapter 1
- Captain Vorpatril's Alliance chapter 10
- A Civil Campaign chapter 3
- Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen chapter 14
- Mirror Dance chapter 12
- Memory chapters 12-14,27
- Barrayar chapter 7
- Memory chapter 7
- The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 3
- A Civil Campaign chapters 1,17
- Barrayar chapter 4
- The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 2
- Memory chapters 4,19,21