Reading the family houses of an architect
This thesis considers relationships between occupants and their places of occupation. Of relationships between the bodies of occupation and the stones occupied in the speck instance where the places of occupation have been designed by one of the occupants. The late eighteenth/early nineteenth century architect Sir John Soane has been selected as the architect/occupant. This selection was made because of his gift to the nation of a house in Lincoln 's Inn Field designed for his family, offered complete with an extensive collection of representations of occupation. This archive material, contained in letters, journals, account books, home made books, descriptions of the places of occupation, watercolours and architectural drawings, has been used extensively in the fabric of the thesis. It is this material, contained within the house, that is under consideration: the project uses the matter collected/contained both as a means of considering the logic of the house/home and as matter to be analysed, or subjected to that logic. As the material under examination includes textual matter, interrelationships between this form of material, the bodies of writing and the stones of the places of writing are analysed. The houses/villas under examination are Pitzhanger Manor House, a villa at Ealing; No. 12 & 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, two adjoining London town houses and the Clerk of the Works' official residence at Chelsea. They are considered exclusively in terms of representation, not as built or physical form. Views of the houses/villas from contexts beyond the framework of the archive are not engaged with; they are not located within a street, city, or world perspective. The material contained within the archive is used to consider the construction and destruction of the houses/villas designed by the architect/owner. It is also used to examine what might be deemed the construction and destruction of the family of 3 occupation and the formation of another form of family of occupation. In so doing, the thesis does not attempt to build a portrait of the occupiers, or a history of'the place off occupation. It is neither a biography nor an architectural history but something in between; akin to an analysis of the place of occupation from the logic of the material collected and contained.