Sunday, 8 February 2015

the house as open form

As the time accelerates and the unread books are piling up all over the place, it's worth to look back at some, rather underestimated books published in 2014. Let's start with The House as Open Form. The book is a portrait of a house - it's dedicated to the summerhouse of Zofia and Oskar Hansen in a small village of Szumin, the building which is considered to be the fullest materialization of the Open Form theory. The book includes over one hundred photographs by Jan Smaga (taken in let spring 2005 and autumn 2006, some samples below) and texts by Aleksandra Kędziorek and Filip Springer (the author of the excellent popular book Zaczyn about the Hansens, from 2013). As the authors claim: "At the house in Szumin, architecture is the "absorptive background" of everyday events. The unique ambiance is enhanced by traces of their activities and passions, such as didactic tools for teaching the basics of composition, his steel exhibition structure from the Venice Biennale in 1977 now supporting a climbing vine, and the expansive wood dovecote that, as Zofia Hansen, used to say, partly in jest, was the most complete embodiment of her husband's ideas". And yes, there are even photographs of the famous free-standing wicket without the fence, which the dog Puryc used to jump over, or according to the legend, the gate to another dimensions: the embodiment of Open Form. 
All the photos below: courtesy of Jan Smaga and Foksal Gallery Foundation