Bradbury’s survey of architecturally significant houses overwhelms with the sheer variety of beauty contained within. From the 1927 Melnikov House in Moscow to the 1962 Milam Residence in Jacksonville, Florida to the 1991 Casa Klotz in rural coastal Chile, Bradbury has covered the entire world. In his introduction, he quotes architect Richard Meier:
As an expression of architectural ideas they [houses] are an essential type. Formally they are likely to offer the most intimate scale at which to work. And symbolically they have always maintained a potent force, both as a vivid representation of lives inside their walls and as a powerful influence over the changing course of architecture over centuries.
Bradbury’s succinct descriptions accompany the photographs well, offering thumbnail surveys of the houses’ respective architects, their work, and the manifestation of their ideas in the house showcased. The book includes a useful Houses by Type index, bibliography, and gazetteer.
The Iconic House ranks among the best coffee table books: immediately engaging and divided into digestible portions, but equally informative and smart, an invitation to learn more.
Creative Space: Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators, Francesca Gavin (Laurence King) $35
An interesting meditation on space but also on material possession, Gavin catalogues a wide range of the places and spaces inhabited by cultural creatives. Featuring homes of all sizes, from Barcelona, Berlin, London, New York, and Tokyo, each entry begins with a brief interview and biographical sketch of the respective artist, followed by a portrait as inhabitant, then a selection of photographs of the place itself. My favorites include Leah McSweeney and Rob Cristofaro’s New York apartment, which they call “a loose interpretation of who we are as people,” for its simple hanging swing, to one side of the living room, and Hardy Blechman’s London house, for his juxtaposition of an Eames Lounge Chair andOttoman with a small, whimsical woven tiger rug. All the homes considered have been tidied, and one can sense that things have been very intentionally placed, though it’s unclear whether that’s been done as show, for these photographs, or for some underlying compulsion, as part of the artist’s everyday.
Gavin’s selection of artists, from graphic designers to filmmakers to architects, is varied, as are the spaces themselves, ranging from high-ceilinged modern showrooms to toy playrooms on steroids. The selection of cities is appropriate but not exhaustive, and—to my biased chagrin—does not include Los Angeles. Nonetheless, we at Molossus have decided to forgive that trespass, as Gavin’s book inspired us enough to showcase our own creative space, as a sort of unofficial extension of her work.
Less professionally photographed and less considered, Molossus presents its own creative space in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, in celebration of Francesca Gavin’s Creative Space: Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators.
Art Director Geoff Gossett’s Drawing Table (Above Left), Editor David Shook’s Banjolele (Above Right), Editor David Shook’s Desk (Below)