Extracts from “Unbreathed air, 1956 : Alison and Peter Smithson's House of the Future” by Beatriz Colomina, 2004

The primary role of the house is to filter out the world and produce a quasi-theological encounter with an empty sky, a sky made private by the house.

In a certain sense, the house allows the sky to come down and touch the inhabitant. The air of the house is cleansed to make way for a pure “as yet unbreathed air” to descend into the void and then into the body of the inhabitants – uncannily anticipating the current obsession with unbreathed air in aeroplanes, restaurants, and public buildings. Unbreathed air as the ultimate measure of privacy in an even more congested world.
Air, then, rather than plastic, is the real material of the house. Unbreathed air with a glass wall wrapped around it, which in turn is wrapped by a blank wall, which in turn is wrapped by another wall and then by an exhibition hall and then by a city.
The Sminthsons built a hole. They took an empty space, and all the rest of the design was just a means of fixing that emptiness. Is it any wonder that this house will always elude our grasp?

So... is this getting serious?

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