This project, 1018 W. SCOTT STREET
, explores our first experiences of place and uses the childhood house to frame how we are connected to the world through those first experiences. The project and the house reflect my deep interest in the uncanny nature of architectural spaces and how those spaces become the architecture of identity.
In order to better understand the world and my own relationship with it I have gone back to my first principal memories of place and the spaces which made up that place. It is necessary to understand that the images of these places are remembered and are therefore more vivid rather than exacting. Darkness and fire are as much a factor in my memory as any part of the physical space and it was that darkness which gave presence to the objects and the spaces.
The house was a stucco and wood structure designed and built by my Grandfather in 1906. It was Tudor Revival, a style popular at the time in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city of German immigrants. From the street the whole had a somewhat imposing appearance and by the time of my own connection with it some thirty five years later it was still the most significant single piece of architecture in the neighborhood with its gables and a broad wide porch on the side. The house was a bit of an enigma, haunted as it was to many of my friends, and yet to me a space of infinite wonder. It was the combination of the tangle of ivy, soot darkened stucco and the dark wood detail that heightened the effect of that uncanny mythology. My own relationship to the spaces of that house, beginning with awe and fear, and unrealized until well into my adult life, reverie, shaped my artistic life.