Bookshelf    House Rules: An Architect’s Guide to Modern Life

House Rules: An Architect’s Guide to Modern Life

By Deborah Berke, essay by Rick Moody, afterword by Marc Leff (Rizzoli, 2016) Buy It Now

Clean, modern lines and elegant simplicity characterize architect Deborah Berke’s designs, and the same principles apply to this spare and lovely book. Its photographs are laid out with just a few lines of text, making the point with concise understatement. “Need and desires intersect around solitude and togetherness,” Berke writes, adding: “We want and need to spend time alone and with others. A house must provide spaces for both conditions to happen with ease and in comfort.” She likens the architect’s work process to that of a distiller or tailor, making something from scratch within certain parameters. Embracing the concepts of multitasking spaces and connectivity, she provides eight basic rules that articulate her design philosophy for residential structures, whether Hudson Valley homes, reimagined New England barns, or Long Island beach houses. Renowned novelist Rick Moody (The Ice Storm) contributes an essay entitled “Rules for Neighbors.”