Topographies of Homecoming
In a housing lecture, Anne Lacaton states: “Housing is everywhere. Housing is here. Housing is in the school. Housing is in the city. ‘Inhabiting’ is situations to be well in any place of the city.” The architect’s most challenging objective is “to make the city comfortable and full of pleasures.” Yet, if the essence of inhabitation is comfort—a phenomenon which, though magnetic, goes largely unnoticed in one’s day-to-day affairs—they must acknowledge the varied forms in which these moments of dwelling materialize. This project accordingly posits that the everyday architectural notions of “dwelling” and “home” are grounded in a more original “existential spatiality,” a precognitive familiarity with the significance and interrelatedness of things that one implicitly navigates in involvements or moods. Consequently, a dwelling unit’s performativity must be sought in its deference to this latter, fuller notion that encompasses the extent of everyday lived space. In contrast to the modernist performative dwelling, the so-called “machine for living in,” that pursued a cold and homogeneous approach to housing, the project proposes that respecting the human spectrum of atmospheric and emotional needs will increase feelings of comfort and familiarity that could ward off anxiety and homelessness.