Once, architects were only interested in building great landmarks. But
today, some of the most radical and innovative work in Britain is being
realised on a domestic scale, as top designers turn humble house
extensions into Modernist palaces
Sunday January 13, 2008
We all want to design our own house. And it's simple. Hannes Meyer,
interim director of the Bauhaus between Gropius and Mies, said the only
things you have to consider are sex life, sleeping habits, pets,
gardening, personal hygiene, weather protection, hygiene in the home,
car maintenance, cooking, heating, exposure to the sun and service. That
was in 1928.
Meyer occupied the most extreme Modernist position. Life itself was
merely an arrangement of complex hydrocarbons and a house was, to adapt
Le Corbusier's expression, a machine for sentient biomatter to exist in.
However, despite the notorious prominence of this mechanistic philosophy
in 20th-century culture, few such houses were built and those that were
tended to be more exhibitions of design theory for reproduction in
magazines than viable homes.