The Shape of Houses.
Looking back at myself and the houses and the architecture I’ve admired through my life there’s one detail coming back over and over again, and that’s the simpliciness of the design. We’re talking plain white or grey exterior walls or those with a simple repetitive pattern - much like bricks, for example, and rarely any colors to mention. One of my favorite buildings is the Västerås municipality office, a huge and grey colossus which reminds us more about a Soviet factory or a dystopian torture facility. But at least it’s quite clean, not much details and the grey scales never becomes to fancy. It’s big, cubistic and beautiful.
Wherever I come to the apartment complex suburbs in the outskirts of bigger cities I feel relaxed. There’s nothing to distract me and I feel peace walking among these giants of sixties and seventies productive, socialistic design - the dream of labyrinth cribs where you can either be alone in your apartment or spend time outside on the lawn, talking with neighbors without letting them inflict on your privacy.
I know, it sounds boring, but my philosophy is like this: houses shouldn’t shape the tenants, the tenants should shape the house. How does this work then? Well, I’ve written about it before, the more one adds signs telling them how happy they are the unhappier they are. It’s basically the same thing, in many cases, with wearing colorful clothes or telling jokes all the time, it’s a fake facade where the exterior is telling us who we’re supposed to feel and behave. A crazy, wacky and colorful house gives the illusion of creativity and happiness, but also makes the tenants lazy and uncreative.
A neutral exterior will force those inside to create their own universes, where they can feel comfort and some very personal level of happiness. I’m aware this is something that just works in theory, at least for others, but for me it’s something that triggers the imagination and gives a nice and pure backdrop to the surrounding (which is a must) nature or culture.
I’ve had dreams of living in concrete houses shaped like boxes, and I still look with loving eyes to one factory near my home which basically looks like a gigantic, windowless grey cube with trees covering its surroundings. I feel relaxed in the so-called No Go zones (there isn’t any by the way, just a construction made by right wing politicians and international media) where every meter is covered with huge apartment blocks.
A dream house on the countryside would be one floor, brown brick walls, a black roof and concrete stairs leading up to it. Nothing more, nothing less. Then I can fill it with my beautiful, mind-expanding universe.
#house #architecture #livingspace #home #writing #ellowrites #openplanliving #individualism #interiordesign