What is a house? And what is a home?
The term house is a physical concept regarding the elements of structure, shelter and function. In the instance of a house, the structure is safe, shelter is provided, and the functional needs of the occupants are met. In comparison, home is a psychological concept determined by the individual within the context of house. In this case, home is where the occupant feels comfortable and their psychological desires are satisfied. Home is greatly influenced by house.
Architects have the power to not only design the structural functionality of houses, but also (and more importantly) to design homes. It is the role of the architect to ensure that their client is provided with a house design that is truly and completely individual, based on their specific needs and desires for the purpose of creating a home. This strategy of intense personalisation can be seen by looking at examples from architectural history - particularly the work of Australian architect Robin Boyd whose approach to residential architecture is well-considered and based on the inherent needs and desires of his home-dwelling clients.
Whilst it is important to have a structurally stable house, we believe it is even more important to have a comfortable home. It is vital to the human condition to dwell in spaces that make us happy and there is much evidence to prove that our living environments have a great impact on our overall well-being. The factors that make a home are different for everyone, however these factors can be facilitated through careful and thoughtful architectural design.
What makes your house a home? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Image: Canterbury Residence