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 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. (…)
“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.”
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.
G. E. KIDDER SMITH BUILDSProject type
ARCHIVE MATRIX ASSEMBLYNana Last
BLANK: Speculations on CLT FEATUREProject type
Colors of RhetoricMaría Fullaondo
Koolhass For PradaProject type
BRACKETNeeraj Baathia, Mason White
Be SeatedJohn Lin, Sony Devabhaktuni
Colors of RhetoricMaria Fullaondo
ARCHITECTURE OF NATUREDiana Agrest
Social UrbanismProject type
GRID 5Project type
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