UNRESOLVED
LEGIBILITY

UNRESOLVED
LEGIBILITY

UNRESOLVED
LEGIBILITY

UNRESOLVED
LEGIBILITY

UNRESOLVED
LEGIBILITY

AUTHOR: CLARK THENHAUS

Legibility in architecture requires
both visual clarity of a building’s appearance.

Legibility in architecture requires
both visual clarity of a building’s appearance.

Legibility in architecture requires
both visual clarity of a building’s appearance.

Legibility in architecture requires
both visual clarity of a building’s appearance.

Legibility in architecture requires
both visual clarity of a building’s appearance.

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Legibility in architecture requires both visual clarity of a building’s appearance such that its formal, spatial, and material compositions can be comprehended, as well as a certain clarity of its social, cultural, and political histories. While the term legibility car-ries a connotation of conclusiveness or objective qualifications, legibility in the context of architecture is most often inconclusive and unresolved. Such unresolved legibility is particularly salient in residential types. Perhaps no genre of architecture has been written about more than the house—by architects and non-architects alike. As long-standing subjects of architectural discourse, cultural reflection, and experimentation, houses represent a confluence of disciplinary and extra-disciplinary phenomena. The house is not only susceptible to, but in fact requires, renewal and re-imagination; as an architectural type it reflects shifting architectural and cultural values and the constant reconstruction of meaning that this shifting entails. (…) 

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“The ten residential types in this book reveal a story of American residential archi-tecture in which social, cultural, and political histories are inextricable from architectural legibility.”

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The ten residential types in this book reveal a story of American residential archi-tecture in which social, cultural, and political histories are inextricable from architectural legibility. They are not lifted from the canon of architecture but rather from the famil-iarity of everyday experiences that include 1—the cabin, 2—the mountain house, 3—the farmhouse, 4—the Queen Anne, 5—the American Foursquare, 6—the ranch house, 7—the Federal-style, 8—the shotgun house, 9—the row house, and 10—mixed-use. These ten residential types, which figure prominently in the history of the residential architec-ture in America, invite open-ended readings and serve here as examples of the prevalence and the productive possibilities of unresolved legibility in architecture.

 

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Selected Works

Colors of RhetoricMaría Fullaondo

Koolhass For PradaProject type

BRACKETNeeraj Baathia, Mason White

Be SeatedJohn Lin, Sony Devabhaktuni

Colors of RhetoricMaria Fullaondo

Social UrbanismProject type

GRID 5Project type

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CONTACT US
USA - San Francisco Bay Area
Tel: +1(415) 883-3300
Asia - Singapore & China
Tel: +(65) 9068-1860
Tel: +(86) 755-84556863

CONTACT US
USA - San Francisco Bay Area
Tel: +1(415) 883-3300
USA - New York
Tel: +1(646) 322-2466
Asia - Singapore & China
Tel: +(65) 9068-1860
Tel: +(86) 755-84556863

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