On Individual Dwelling

written by Ivana Ergić
Photo by: Archive Ivana Ergić


On the phenomenon that occupies me as both an architect and a teacher, on fundamental subjects that constitute individual dwelling, with focus on the extremes, on opposite, but equally valid approaches. I am writing to emphasise the wide range of interpretation that lies between them.
the house, quite obviously, is a privileged entity, provided, of course, that we take it in both its unity and its complexity, and endeavour to integrate all its special values in one fundamental value. - Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, 1957
ON THE SIMPLICITY OF A FAMILY HOUSE. A family house is perceived as the simplest form of the creation of space: everyone (not necessarily an architect) feels what a house is, what makes it a house, which elements it contains. Our subconscious holds the code for what a house wants to be. A child always intuitively draws the house in the same way. That is a house.
ON THE COMPLEXITY OF A FAMILY HOUSE. Unlike collective housing or any other functional type of housing, a family house is the most elastic architectural genre, one in which all the extremes of space creation are possible. A house consists of a variety of different elements, therefore it must be reflected upon through the possible extremes, even contradictions. A house does not consist of bedrooms and living rooms, but of places – places for sleeping, eating, being alone or having company, feeling safe. It is by no means a set of functions (or even actions), but something far more complex.