WHAT MAKES A HOUSE A HOME?
After the two last decades in which globalization and technology determined a quick and chaotic lifestyle, everything has stopped for a moment. We are now forced to reconnect with our houses.
Do we feel at home?
"When Jean Nouvel built the Nemausus social housing complex under HLM rules in Nimes, France in 1987 he fought with the developer to be more generous with the spaces for the individual flats. Delivering a 30% cheaper building he decided to make the apartments 30% bigger. The individual units have a double height space, and open plan arrangement of the spaces. Every unit have a front and a back open space even on the upper floors. On first sight the building must have been a desirable space to live.
But each tenant was obliged to sign a tenancy agreement that prevented them from decorating their flats retaining the space and the structure as he intended it – bare concrete walls, exposed services, even ‘fake’ builders markings, plum lines and fitting instructions on the walls. But the tenants rebelled against these doctrines, attacking the fabric of the building and the strict restrictions - walls were covered in wallpaper and paint, floors with carpets, curtains started to screen off private areas, cornices blurred the lines between the walls and the ceilings. The spaces were personalised and adapted to suit the occupation and to reflect the inhabitant’s sense of taste and understanding of comfort.” 1
1 Weber, Patrick. (2015). HOME/LIFE – A REGISTER OF ADAPTATIONS ONTO AN EXISITING ARCHITECTURE.
Nemausus 1, documentary film by Richard Copans