Concluding Anna Bronovitskaya’s cycle, the lecture will look at residential houses built by architects and designers for themselves.
In some cases, these houses came into being as an evocation of a natural human wish to create the best “family nest” for oneself (to give an example, this was the case of the Swede Gunnar Apslund). Or, they could arise as an ideal frame for a love union of two creative personalities (as was Eileen Gray’s E-1027). Alternatively, an architect’s own home could be materialized for demonstrating its author’s skills and talents to potential clients (e.g. Walter Gropius was driven by this idea after moving to the USA); or a way to prove the vital power of an extravagant designer’s solution (Buckminster Fuller); or provide a paradigmatic example of a particular architectural style (Léon Krier). The home of Charles and Ray Eames was an experiment initiated by Arts & Architecture magazine, while Philip Johnson built his Glass House aiming to “beat” his idol Mies van der Rohe. Lastly, an architect’s environment can simple be a direct statement of their habitual art of living, as Gio Ponti’s two-level Milan apartment is known to be. But whatever might have been the creators’ motifs and the circumstances they had to deal with, an architect’s home has always offered new possibilities in the most traditional among all architectural typologies—that of a family residence.