Monday, 16 February 2009

Phenomenological architecture

Gaston Bachelard saw the house as a site for all our imaginative thoughts, its physical spaces (attics, cellars, stairs, corners, cupboards) shaping our ideas. The house that we grew up in has psychological significance, its cellars are our darkness and fear, its attics our protection, light, safety and rationality, its staircases move us from one state of thought to another.

"The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace... the house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind....
it is the human being's first world."

- Bachelard

"House, patch of meadow, oh evening light
Suddenly you acquire an almost human face
You are very near us, embracing and embraced."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
(quoted by Bachelard in The Poetics of Space)

While Bachelard imagined the ideal childhood home as a rambling country house, he writes that there is still imagination in the city. In an apartment, a person feels like a small ship amid the ocean's roar, which is heard through the sounds of the city outside...

Definitely an illustration somewhere in there.

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