How to design a House – book review

how to design a house

Initially chosen because I thought that it would be explanatory and literal I found that it was much deeper upon reading. While architecture was covered broadly, there was emotion in the words and descriptions of what home means to the occupants and how their homes interact with the world.

My favorite portion perhaps was the interview with  the architect John Pawson on the building/remodeling of his own home in London.

How about lighting? It’s all concealed is it?

– Yes, it’s nice not to see the fittings. It’s hugely important for atmosphere. There’s lots of lighting in coves so it washes the walls and it’s also concealed above and below the benches. I only put downlights in restricted spaces where they’re framed so they’re not loose on the ceilings like showers. It makes it difficult to light the table if you do that – that’s the problem. We use candles. When you talk about having a vocabulary or certain givens, the walls are white, floors are usually stone or wood or concrete, lighting is concealed, storage is made to disappear. – John Pawson

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And this quote  from the book – “In some cases, house and site are one and the same thing. Site is also context in a broader sense. What’s outside the front door? A road, a lawn, a driveway? Houses are the building blocks of streets, suburbs, towns and cities, woven into countless patterns of habitation.”

Published by Conran in conjunction with Design Museum, the worlds leading museum devoted to contemporary design.

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