For reasons both obvious and mysterious, even as our cultural and social constructions of domesticity change, the house remains a fundamental site for advancing modern architectural theory and practice: because it accommodates a full diurnal and annual cycle of life, and because it intricately stages ritual and routine, this most private of programs has become a medium of publicity and polemic. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a House both participates in and critiques this contemporary tradition. The reader’s attention in this examination is directed not only to LEVENBETTS’ houses, but to all houses, and all parts of houses—pieces of home and rhetorics of domesticity that show up in our collective memory: from a stolen moment on a staircase in a John Cassavetes film, to the sturdy knife-edged contractor modernism of suburban late to mid-twentieth-century America. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a House is an accessible and universal book—everyone has a sense of home. The book includes thirteen texts on domestic pieces that make up the house, comparative diagrams, construction metrics and anecdotes, informal photos, and structural details all in the interest of taking the house apart in order to put it back together.
TitleThirteen Ways of Looking at a House
AuthorStella Betts /David Leven /Thomas de Monchaux