Living Over the Store
Architecture and Local Urban Life
By Howard Davis
Routledge – 2012 – 264 pages
The shop/house – the building combining commercial/retail uses and dwellings – appears over many periods of history in most cities in the world. This book combines architectural history, cross-cultural understandings and accounts of contemporary policy and building practice to provide a comprehensive account of this common but overlooked building.
The merchant's house in northern European cities, the Asian shophouse, the apartment building on New York avenues, typical apartment buildings in Rome and in Paris – this variety of shop/houses along with the commonality of attributes that form them, mean that the hybrid phenomenon is as much a social and economic one as it is an architectural one.
Professionals, city officials and developers are taking a new look at buildings that allow for higher densities and mixed-use. Describing exemplary contemporary projects and issues pertaining to their implementation as well as the background, cultural variety and urban attributes, this book will benefit designers dealing with mixed-use buildings as well as academics and students.
"Howard Davis takes the bland term "mixed use" and injects it with life and character. The global flavor of his thesis confirms an enduring, near universal truth: that the merger of where one lives and what one does can be of the highest human good. This may well be at the root of what it means to build sustainably." - Emily Talen, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University
"This is an architectural book that is embedded in the finest cultural analysis and continues Davis’ high level of scholarship established in his first book, The Culture of Building. His writing is unique in its ability to identify universal characteristics of the built environment while maintaining a constant focus on culturally specific characteristics through a remarkable collection of case-studies from various cultures worldwide." - Thomas C. Hubka, Department of Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"Ultimately, Davis’s book is an argument for a better city — one that facilitates walkability, face-to-face interactions, and a vibrant street scene. The shop/house, as Howard Davis so persuasively reminds us, could be an important ingredient in that urban mix." - Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review
Preface. Introduction: A Quintessential Urban Building. Part 1: The Shop/House as a Global Phenomenon 1. Shophouses of Asia 2. The Shop in the Palazzo: Rome, Southern Europe and Beyond 3. Merchants’ Houses of Northern and Western Europe 4. From London to Main Street Part 2: The Fabric of Everyday Life 5. Living and Working in the City 6. The Geography of Mixed Uses 7. Adaptable Buildings and Flexible Economics 8. The Architecture of Hybrid Types Part 3: The Death and Life of the Modest Shop/House 9. The Gradual Separation of Family and Business 10. The Building Culture of the Divided City 11. Toward a Resilient Urbanism. Conclusion: Hybrid Urban Practice
Howard Davis is Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon. His work is concerned with the social and cultural frameworks of architecture, the process of building, and the relationships between building typology, urban morphology, and grassroots economic development. His book The Culture of Building was named Best Publication in Architecture and Urban Studies by the Association of American Publishers in 2000.