Book Review: “House” By Diane Keaton
November 30, 2012
House by Diane Keaton. Rizzoli, $85.
Many would be surprised to know that famed actress Diane Keaton is also an architecture lover. Her new book, House (Rizzoli), takes readers on a meditative tour of both Keaton’s reflections on what homes mean to those who reside in them, as well as her evolving architectural taste, which moves from the traditional to the, ahem, “modern”. The book is divided into two main sections, ‘Farm’ and ‘Factory,’ both of which are compiled more or less the same. Keaton has carefully curated a selection of domestic projects by a wide variety of architects. Each project is prefaced with a thoughtful essay by Keaton, and then explored in a series of beautiful full-page photographs, making this book a primarily visual exploration. Continue.
Bunny Lane house by Adam Kalkin, as featured in ‘House’; Photo: Peter Aaron/Otto
There is certainly plenty of ground to cover in terms of analysis: when talents such as Kieran Timberlake, Lake/Flato, Tom Kundig, and Adam Kalkin are gathered in one spot, the subjects open for discussion are enormous. However, Keaton often shies away from making big points, preferring, perhaps, to let the houses themselves speak through images. The overall impression one is left with is that of gleaning over a personal collection of affinities, where the images speak louder than the accompanying text. From Keaton’s introduction:
“These dwellings, lofts, structures, residences, and “work studio lofts” are compelling. Each architect and every designer has utilized his or her imagination to create spaces that implement an idea I like to call Make Work Play. Inspired by the function of Farms and Factories, they’ve enhanced the power of simplicity while playing in the lively expanse between intention and outcome.”
But again, this is a book primarily for viewing, not for reading. It would make a nice addition to waiting rooms, coffee tables, and other high-prestige places, the images providing tranquil transport to ideal scenes of domesticity.