We all have a dream house (even crabs do!) whether it is on an island, on a mountain, small or large, high or low tech. We live through our spaces and objects and project into them who we are – loners, lovers of nature, social beings, futurists… Dreams are personal and totally free!
Japanese artist Aki Inomata building-themed shells for Hermit crabs. More here.
Most of you probably know this french comedy from the 50s by Jacques Tati called Mon oncle. For those of you who do not, and would like to dust out their projector the full film is here. Mon Oncle describes the struggle of Mr Hulot, an impractical and lovable man, with the materialistic, machinic aspect of post-war modern France. It opposes Hulot and his poetic lifestyle in a small corner of old town to the Arpels and their ultra modern house. Despite its superficial beauty, modernity is as cold, grey and impersonal as the Arpels themselves.
But then again… outside romantic comedies, who would refuse the opportunity to live in this modernist beauty?
Sixty years after Mies Van der Rohe completed this incredible glass getaway, it still sweeps us off our feet (literally!). In all honesty, I could move in tomorrow… Like most stars, the Farnsworth House looks smaller in person… but unlike most stars, so much better! Glazed on all sides, it is one of the country's most admired masterpieces. It was designed by Mies Van der Rohe in 1945 for Edith Farnsworth, who was mesmerized with the house (and the architect) and it has since inspired all architectural generations and, most notably, Philip Johnson, who gave it his best shot with The Glass House. Irony, the later was concluded first.
Something you don’t know (and because beauty has a price…) is that there are no closets in the house. Don’t you like architects? You come in free… or hang clothes somewhere very far away from the glass walls.
Another detail you may not know is that in all its right angled glory, the Farnsworth house has… well, a diagonal line. I am not going to tell you where it is, you would have to visit.
Sou Fujimoto, NA House, photo Iwan Baan
Another great example of dream house, in the other side of the world in Tokyo, in the NA house by Sou Fijomoto, a tree shaped metal structure with loosely interlocked programs suiting the dreams of any Peter Pan family. More in Archdaily .
But not all dreams are modern, or urban. Actually, some are remote.
The Delta shelter, a prefabricated prototype by Tom Kundig from Olson Kundig architects in Washington State, USA. This 1000 sf (100 sqm) weekend cabin is 'basically a steel box on stilts, (that) can be completely shuttered when the owner is away. Situated near a river in a floodplain, the 20’ x 20’ square footprint rises three stories and is topped by the living room/kitchen. ' So you can enjoy peace and then shut it like a box and come back… some other day.
Finally, if your housing paradigm has changed and, together with your smartphone, you are the free man or the free woman of the world, this may be the time to revisit Archigram and the living pod. The aesthetic may be vintage but the concept is alive.
As you unplug this week, stay tuned, we will be back next Monday…