Dwelling with Architecture
Routledge – 2012 – 236 pages
The dwelling is the most fundamental building type, nowhere more so than in the open landscape.
This book can be read in a number of ways. It is first a book about houses and particularly the theme ‘dwelling and the land’. It examines the poetic and prosaic issues inherent in claiming a piece of the landscape to live on. It could also be seen as a kind of road map, full of both warnings and encouragements for all those involved with, or just interested in, the making of houses.
That the domestic realm and the landscape can be vehicles for significant architectural insights is hardly an original observation. However this book seeks to bring the two topics together in a unique way. In exploring a building type that lies on the cusp of what is commonly understood as ‘building’ and ‘architecture’, it asks fundamental questions about what the very nature of architecture is. Who indeed is the architect and what is their role in the process of creating meaningful buildings?
“Good things come in small packages, and this book – more diminutive than other architecture tomes - is no exception…the conversational writing style and humour draw readers in and make the more abstract concepts accessible to a range of audiences…both cautionary and encouraging, Dwelling with Architecture poses questions and solutions not just for "humanity’s most frequent and fundamental act of building" but the practice as a whole.” – Houses: Australian Residential Architecture and Design
"We reside in our houses, but we also dwell in the world. This complex process of gradually expanding domains, both physical and mental, is largely mediated by architecture. Dwelling with Architecture is a reflection on the multiple dimensions of this fundamental human act. The authors analyse various aspects and scales of dwelling through a number of concrete examples. The book turns into a personal and intimate account of how we structure our experiential world and determine our domicile and home." – Juhani Pallasmaa, Architect SAFA, Hon. FAIA, Int FRIBA, Professor and Author
"When one looks carefully at a work of architecture, one can ‘hear’ the whirring of the wheels of the designer’s mind…or not…telling us to what degree its form is, or isn’t, informed by ideas. This small, but important book – written in prose of transparent clarity, ingenuity and wit – teaches us how to listen, and what to listen out for." – Tom Heneghan, Professor, Department of Architecture, Tokyo University of the Arts
"Kemsley and Platt give sensitive reflections of what it means to ‘dwell.’ The search for this meaning is illustrated through their own work, which explores seminal ideas about how architecture must connect to ‘place’. Their eco-cultural approach inspires one to return to the land and material tradition as a source for design, something so often ignored today." – Talbot Sweetapple, RAIC, AIA, Partner at MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Nova Scotia
"It is an incredibly generous gesture of Kemsley and Platt to allow us into their private thoughts, rare for serious architects to let their guard slip and reveal a human face. Their text is at times intimate and at times innocent as when describing their childhood homes. It is refreshing to be able to read and reflect on architecture in a serious way without a dictionary close by… Surely a real measure or a meaningful deliverable is to cause others to reflect through your work, certainly I found this to be the case with Dwelling with Architecture." – Neil Gillespie, Riach and Hall Architects, Edinburgh
Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Experience of Place 3. Constraints and Preoccupations 4. Dwelling and Houses 5. The Building in the Landscape 6. The Innocent and the Sophisticated 7. The Cycle of Learning