The Concept of Dwelling: On the Way to Figurative Architecture (Architectural Documents)

The Concept of Dwelling: On the Way to Figurative Architecture (Architectural Documents)

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"This is a book on human dwelling. The word 'dwelling' here means something more than having a roof over our head and a certain number of square meters at our disposal. First, it means to meet others for exchange of products, ideas and feelings, that is, to experience life as a multitude of possibilities. Second, it means to come to an agreement with others, that is, to accept a set of common values. Finally, it means to be oneself, in the sense of having a small chosen world of our own. We may call these modes collective, public and private dwelling. The word dwelling, however, also comprises the place man has created to set the modes into his work. The settlement, with its urban spaces, has always been the stage where collective dwelling was enacted. The institution or public building has been the embodiment of public dwelling. And the house has been the private retreat where the individual could prosper. Together, settlement, urban space, institution and house constitute a total environment. This environment, however, is always related to what is given, that is, to a landscape with general as well as particular qualities. To dwell, therefore, also means to become friends with a natural place. We may also say that dwelling consists in orientation and identification. Orientation and identification are satisfied by organized space and built form, which constitute the concrete place. Our introduction of the concept of place, in contrast to the current emphasis on abstract space, offers a point of departure for a return to figurative architecture. Thus we leave the 'non figurative' approach of functionalism behind, and open up for an architecture which may satisfy the need for dwelling, in the existential sense of the word."