Living with Nature: Architecture Topography Landscape

Katharina Matzig

Regular price $62

“I want you to live with the waterfall, not just to look at it.” This sentence surely has a special place among famous quotations from architects. Not because it comes from Frank Lloyd Wright, though that is certainly a reason as well. First and foremost, it is extraordinary because it was expressed in built form in the Fallingwater house from 1939. The longing to live in and with nature is nothing new. Publisher Sandra Hofmeister and author Jakob Schoof have cleverly compiled many other historical, architecturally unique, social and psychological models which document how – and just how long – topography and architecture have been interrelated. In this era, when for the first time more people live in cities than in the country, this interrelationship fascinates us more than ever; that is the hypothesis behind the book.

Twenty buildings serve as proof in the meticulously, appealingly designed, cloth-bound German-English publication. Over the past years, these buildings have been created all over the world: there are private country homes as well as mountain shelters; some structures are intended for permanent use, others as holiday accommodations. Six pages are devoted to each of the projects; precise texts describe the buildings, which are depicted with consistent plans drawn on a scale ranging from 1:100 to 1:400, accompanied by many colour pictures. There is no information regarding the exact year that each building was erected, nor are there any site plans. However, these are not needed: the unusual locations are recognizable in the photos, and the quality is timeless. The feelings of longing that this book arouses in astounded readers will be supplemented by a spark of envy towards those who have realized their dreams of living in nature with the help of architecture that at times melds with the topography, and at times sets a counterpoint to the landscape. But there is hope: some of the houses are open to guests…

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