Introduction by Samantha Hardingham Architectural Writer
Recent architectural history shows us many attempts by architects to re-invent an approach to specific housing types as an expression rather than a demonstration of current technological capability and human aspiration – they find the speed at which technology drives cultural change and the rate at which building can respond almost irreconcilable in design terms. The established tradition of one-off set piece homes as the embodiment of one architect’s design ideas, in the hope of one day representing an entire architectural movement, is a familiar and rather quaint one.
Few have taken a different path; a more synergetic approach, whereby technological and spatial requirements are designed as ‘artefact-inventions’, as most accurately described by
R. Buckminster Fuller. Not since Fuller’s own Dymaxion house have we seen the architect as inventor imagine the home in the same way that he or she dreams of a car or makes demands of their laptop and mobile phone, and with the same vast array of interchangability that pocket full of 21st Century life-accessories offers.
Jonathan Schwinge’s belongs in this most adventurous of camps. His modern take on the traditional rural cottage by the sea is as sculpturally elegant as it is highly environmentally responsive. Whether a single shiny gemstone in the woods or clustered to form a techno-geological rock formation, this is a house of our time that delights in proposing a new relationship between man, technology and nature.