With more than 2,000 color photos, Houses of the World, unites the most prominent international examples of domestic architecture from the last decade of the 20th century.
The introduction to this unprecedented overview of domestic architecture does more than simply establish a clear and precise classification of the trends that have emerged in recent years. Attempting to bring together - in a single volume - some of the best-known designs of a period that is so close to our own contemporary critical standpoint constitutes, in every respect, an exercise in abstraction that is as daring as it is thought provoking. An understanding of domestic architectural design is closely associated with the history of ideas. Through a process of romantic and idealistic simplification, houses have become a physical and spiritual refuge from the strains and stresses of modern life. In this respect, architecture represents the complex framework of the interaction between the architect and client, a simple concept that illustrates one of the most obvious risk factors in the field of domestic architecture: the creation of the artist versus the preferences and requirements of the end user. On the one hand, the house represents an ideal design opportunity in which the architect can develop experience and creative urges. On the other, excessive imagination can prove disastrous for the client's basic, everyday needs. The simplest way to attain a satisfactory result would therefore be to find a happy medium that achieved a balance between both sets of ideas and transformed the task of designing and creating the house into a mutually interactive process.