SUPERSIZING BLISS – Toby Witte – “Livable Art Awaits!”

A sometimes extravagant but often fascinating case for the home as the basis for an energetic lifestyle.

By Toby Witte ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 14, 2023

In this architectural manifesto, the author, an architect, encourages readers to find fulfillment in custom-designed homes. He argues that mass-produced American tract housing is unsustainable, has a large carbon footprint, and is a legacy of discriminatory redlining, but more importantly, it is aesthetically and spiritually barren. Instead, he suggests that a house should be a piece of livable art, a stage for the wonders of one’s being, and wildly creative. He advises readers to hire an architectural firm and focus on the experiences the house will bring, rather than the cost. Witte then delves into the many aspects of housing and architecture, from construction costs to the feel of brick to the play of natural light through windows. He also showcases his own home designs, which are modernist with a rectilinearity softened by natural elements. These include the Gerendák Residence, which has moved visitors to tears, and his own self-designed residence, which features unique features like hollowed-out stairway steps for stowing shoes. The author’s enthusiasm for the house as the smithy of the soul can be over the top, but when he writes about specific buildings, his vivid prose effectively conveys the psychological impact of material structures. In the end, this is an absorbing argument for great architecture as a human necessity.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2023
ISBN: 9781953555472

Page Count: 244
Publisher: SPARK Publications

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2023