The Language of Houses

The Language of Houses

How Buildings Speak to Us

eBook - 2014
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How do the spaces we inhabit affect us--and reflect us? A Pulitzer Prize-winning author explores architecture, in this insightful, "breezy" read ( The Washington Post ).

In 1981, Alison Lurie published The Language of Clothes , a meditation on costume and fashion as an expression of history, social status and individual psychology. Amusing, enlightening and full of literary allusion, the book was highly praised and widely anthologized.

Now Lurie has returned with a companion book, The Language of Houses , a lucid, provocative and entertaining look at how the architecture of buildings and the spaces within them both reflect and affect the people who inhabit them. Schools, churches, government buildings, museums, prisons, hospitals, restaurants, and of course, houses and apartments--all of them speak to human experience in vital and varied ways.

The Language of Houses discusses historical and regional styles and the use of materials such as stone and wood and concrete, as well as contemplating the roles of stairs and mirrors, windows and doors, tiny rooms and cathedral-like expanses, illustrating its conclusions with illuminating literary references and the comments of experts in the field.

Accompanied by lighthearted original drawings, The Language of Houses is an essential and highly entertaining new contribution to the literature of modern architecture.
Publisher: Harrison, NY : Delphinium Books, [2014]
ISBN: 9781497680302
Characteristics: 1 online resource : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Sung, Karen


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Nov 30, 2014

Interesting, but it has more breadth than depth and many of its observations fall into the "well, duh" category.

Nov 21, 2014

This is a delightful book that describes subtle and not-so-subtle messages that houses and other buildings make to the observing visitor. The author writes very well with a wry sense and bases many of her observations on personal visits and experiences. It is also a nice touch when she quotes various literary figures for observations on messages that they get from different buildings or houses. The author makes observations about the exterior, interior floor plan, and rooms of buildings. There are also brief sections of the evolution of buildings and the social and functional forces that are driving changes to these buildings including: Hospitals, prisons, offices, and schools. This is a terrific read. Highly recommended.


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