The Memory and Desire for the House Form
翻译：Edie 原文：坂本一成 《住宅——日常的诗学》第二章 家型
The house of memory
The house was simply a house. Or, rather, I don't quite remember the actual form. It stood matter-of-factly in one corner of the neighborhood — comfortably, casually, without pretensions. Though naive at first appearance, it was not coarse, but rather it appeared refined. That is, it did not necessarily stand out from the other houses of the neighborhood, but it wasn't overwhelmed by them either. While the surrounding houses promoted their position as houses, this house was silent and presumed to say nothing. And while the surrounding house could be thought to be mere shells, losing their fundamental form, this house continued to compose its house-form quite vigorously. While taciturn, it was terribly worried about being loquacious. This tension produced a mysterious contrast with respect to its surroundings, but it was nothing more than the form of a house.
The impression given by the interior was no different from that of the exterior. That is, it held the same house-form that was seen on the outside. Just as the house-form of the exterior was composed of the most ordinary roof and walls and windows — and they might be difficult to recall because they are so ordinary — the floor and walls, ceiling and windows (perhaps there were skylights) of the interior were terribly ordinary and contented in their positioning. This too was terribly natural: it called no attention to itself, and I am now unable to recall the form. As on the outside, the place cannot necessarily be called an emotional space. The rooms were connected in a perfectly natural way. The interior had the organization of a house that can be seen in any typical residence.
This house was somewhere. Perhaps it was in some corner of the town I grew up in. Or perhaps on the pages of a picture book from my childhood. Or perhaps in a small town visited on a long train trip. No, not even that far way, it seems that the house could be in this neighborhood somewhere. Perhaps the reader has a similar house of memory.
The house is a place for people to reside in, and the real house is prepared for daily life. It is planned, fundamentally, to secure the functions of everyday life, and unfortunately, in order to achieve that function, a form based in composition is required. And within the compositional, various meanings are produced. That is, in order to achieve the functions, the required form produces meanings that are social and not necessarily directly related to it. Thus the building for actual life is socialized, and, to the extent that it is architecturalized, the building is bound by culture. Or the thought related to that can perhaps be called architecture. However, I have come to have many doubts about this. That is, I have come to look to the residence as architecture — not in making architecture as a problem through the clear expression of a second dimensional function — but within the abstraction of the function which produces a meaning that is expressed, or remains, when prior meaning are erased.
However, that is both ambivalent and contradictory. That is, within our cultural society, each form gives rise to a different function, but not in the sense of "form follows function". There, I have unconsciously come to think that in the erasure of the second dimension function, in the erasure of meaning, or again, in the place that can't be completely erased, the fundamental character of the house remains. What is revealed, then is the icon of the house: the house-form.
The house form as a functional sign
It is logically impossible to erase completely the second dimension functions as long as the house remains within this world called society. Yet within the tautology that a house is a house, many meanings — second dimension functions — can be erased. By basing the second dimension functions on a type of house form, aren't various meanings open up? Expression of the residence as a tautology, that a place for people to live is called a house, codifies the functionality (that is, it limits the symbol to whatever meaning the function produces). It can not be thought that there is a need to focus on the house form. House form doesn't necessarily mean the actual form of the house, but can be understood to express through a concrete object the relationship of various levels forming the concept of house.
Perhaps the house form is simply the infatuation of people with where they live. It seems to establish a deep icon of inhabitation in our distant, deep memory. Perhaps it forms this image in a collective unconscious. Even now, in town, or in front of this drawing board, the house I am looking for is the house-form existing on the zero degree plain. It must be thought that the house-form floats within various contrasts and correlations to the world. (1979)
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