LOS ANGELES TIMES
Thursday July 22, 2004
One Hundred Houses for One Hundred European Architects of the Twentieth Century
Separating domesticity from the design of a home, even one with a grand architectural pedigree, is like enjoying a painting without looking at it. Homes in architectural books are often stripped naked, in limbo.
This book views architects' homes as living spaces rather than as abandoned shells. Paintings and easels crowd the rubble stone wall of Le Corbusier's studio. A head of lettuce awaits slaughter on a marble slab in Aurelio Galfetti's modernist kitchen.
Each of 100 entries features a separate home: in-depth description, exterior photos, floor plan and bio of its architect. But, as editor Gennaro Postiglione writes, "The status of the domestic interior needs liberating" -- and so the book ventures indoors, and includes shots (in the case of Alvar Aalto, for instance) of the architect's office, working area, living and dining rooms, even Aalto's daughter's room.
For architects, the design process continues indefinitely -- from laboring over the drafting table to picking out the kitchen table -- and it's good to be along for the ride. One complaint: Editors should have included information on furnishings, because readers will want to borrow these inventive ideas.