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"Juhani Pallasmaa's Phenomenology of the Home"


Noel Arnaud, from Gaston Bachelard, 1964. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press.

A discussion using Juhani Pallasmaa, architect and renowned phenomenology writer,  opened an interesting side to architectural study that I had only touched upon before. For this essay, the topic of "home" was debated, which is interesting as the differing factors between "house" and "home" show more of an emotional relationship with the latter phrase. However I wished to analyse sources passed the physical elements that could "make a house a home", using literary sources such as Fyodor Dostojevsky's Crime and Punishment. The descriptions of the small interior compared to the aesthetic of van der Rohe's Farnsworth House highlights the lack of personalisation in the modernist dwelling - and also provokes the discussion once more in its ill-fitting function as an inhabitable house. Additional works in analysis include: Alvar Aalto, Villa Mairea (1939), Friedrich Kiesler, Endless House (unbuilt), Berthold Lubetkin, Highpoint I (1935) and Edward Hopper, Nighthawks (1942).

"In Identity, Intimacy and Domicile: notes on the phenomenology of the home, Juhani Pallasmaa writes: ‘In my view, architecture can either tolerate and encourage personalisation or stifle it.’ With reference to careful analysis of well-chosen examples  respond to this claim.", Stage 2 About Architecture: Cities, Cultures and Space

...This time dimension points to the statement that ‘art maintains roots and traditions rather than uproots and invents’, which can be linked to Pallasmaa’s writings in 1994 mentioning that ‘home’ is not something that can be advertised as a general product. It is not able to be produced within seconds like the mass production of the materials in Villa Mairea, but rather over a period of time, fusing memories and images, rituals, routines of everyday life – it is a ‘family’s and individual’s adaptation to the world.’


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