We have been pleased by the positive feedback that we have received from members who took advantage of our recent house visits, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and hospitality of Jane Black (Black House visit), Jule Einhorn and Di Austin (Einhorn House visit) and Bob White (Renwick House visit).
Viewing these houses allows us not only the chance to make connections back to the beginning, and in many ways the founding principles, of the Architectural Centre, but they also provide us with the opportunity to consider how we live and design for living today……compared with the past. Many at the visit expressed a feeling that there was a greater sensitivity in creating solutions to many basic ‘problems’ of living and living spaces that is just not apparent in contemporary work. Perhaps this is a function of the individuality of these solutions in contrast the ready availability of mass-produced off-the-shelf products today. Perhaps exposure to the thoughtful material palette and detailing casts an aura of ‘romantic nostalgism’ over the experience of these spaces – creating a consequent yearning for the perceived better days of the past. Perhaps it is the apparent organic simplicity, and the honesty of the planning, construction, and experience that mark these out as exemplars of good design, irrespective of era. Perhaps contemporary domestic design really is crap. Which buildings might be considered as contemporary exemplars to hold up against houses such as the ones that we have viewed?
I’d appreciate your thoughts on this, not only out of personal inquisitiveness, but also with the view of arranging further site visits in the future. Should we seek out more Modernist masterpieces? Do we want to see houses from a wider range of eras? If so, which eras are you keen to see? Are there particular houses or buildings you have always nurtured a desire to visit? Please comment/discuss below…