During the nearly five weeks in Austria over the summer we have now got an architect who we feel understands us and wants to join our journey. What distinguished him from the other two we talked to is he listens, he understands what we are about, he sees it as a stimulating challenge to work with us (not sure what the others think about this one) and we saw one of the buildings he designed and made and liked it.
Two days ago I re-watched a Grand Design series 14 episode 5, the cowshed in London. I absolutely love that project with its unusual use of materials, the industrial feel to it, the rawness of the spaces, the hight of the rooms that gives you a unique spacious feel and the eccentric aesthetic of it all. In addition of course I find the owners Tracy and Steve very interesting people and for me their character is so well reflected in the building.
Seeing that project again reminded me of the book The Architectural Uncanny’: Essays in the modern unhomely. I bought this book a couple of years ago after it was recommended to me during the project where I set up a planning space in a gallery and talked to people about their experiences. I’m reading this book now. There was this part in the program where the couple visited another house and they stood on a tiled floor that suddenly sunk and filled with water transforming it into a swimming pool. So ‘unheimlich’. The book talks about the intrigueing and unsettling qualities of a lot of contemporary architecture “its public representation buried in earthworks or lost in mirror reflection, its ‘seeing walls’ reciprocating the passive gaze of domestic cyborgs, its spaces surveyed by moving eyes assimilating “transparency, …” (Preface IX).
Does this uncanniness soften once these modern spaces become a home and are inhabited by people?
I’m interested in this conversion if there is one. I think there is. Spaces are somehow taken over by its inhabitants, they become part of them too and so the edges of the uncanny soften and turn into a haunted characteristic that is not so obvious anymore.
Still in the process of getting rid of stuff in the house. That’s a tedious procedure.