"Effortless" and "inevitable" are architect Steven Harris's two favorite words. With sensitivity to the surrounding landscape, Steven Harris Architects designs spaces that are custom-tailored to their clients' daily lives and experiences. His dining rooms are not aggrandizements of tradition, they are places to eat, to gather, or even work; his entry halls are not the primary places of arrival, but rather the final segments of a long trajectory that begins when the resident turns off the main road or exits the elevator. True Life, the firm's first monograph, showcases an exceptional range of residential work from the past twenty-five years. Organized by the activities that propel their designs--dine, lounge, study, play, sleep, and so on--it focuses on people rather than objects. The firm's spaces are not meant to set lifestyle changes into motion, but rather cater to those routines already in progress. Herein lies the genius of the work: they let the client speak for the house, not the house for the client. A foreword by writer A.M. Homes places Steven Harris Architects in the context of contemporary architecture and speaks to the understated elegance of the firm's designs.
Steven Harris is the founding partner of Steven Harris Architects and professor of Architecture at Yale where he has taught for twenty-five years. He is the co-editor of Architecture of the Everyday and in 2008 was inducted into the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame.
"True Life: Steven Harris Architects is organized around daily routines (Dine, Sleep, Lounge, etc.)- fitting for a firm devoted to creating effortlessly functional spaces. Spanning 25 years, the projects range from crisp modern to rustic to coolly traditional."
"We decided to take shots of this awesome book, True Life: Steven Harris Architects, on warm wood instead of cold concrete, because frankly, this book makes us feel super warm inside. Full of color, bursting with fresh photography and organized in a way that makes a modern lover swoon, youll love everything you see in this book."
The Wall Street Journal:
"What distinguishes [True Life] and makes it rise high above shelter-magazine fare, besides the beauty and creativity of the architecture, is the way it's structured: not project by project but by the thing that propels residential architecture and design, or shouldthe way people actually live."
Garden Design magazine:
"This weighty, satisfying look at the New York firms quarter century is comfort food for garden-hungry readers."
Book News Inc.:
"A foreword by writer A.M. Homes sets the context for this presentation of the firm's residential work, which spans some 25 years and encompasses architectural, interior, and landscape design. Arrangement of images is according to activities of daily living that lie behind design, as follows: climb (as in stairs), clean, enter, lounge, cook, sleep, swim, study, play, dine, cultivate, warm, drive (as in park the vehicle). Each activity is briefly introduced with a paragraph or two, but full-page or two-page spreads featuring photos of interiors, exteriors, and details occupy all but a handful of the 230-plus pages in this oversize volume (10x13<">). Architects, designers, and home-builders in search of ideas and inspiration will find plenty to ponder. The volume was compiled and arranged by Steven Harris, a founding partner and a professor of architecture at Yale, and Lucien Rees Roberts, longtime head of interiors at Steven Harris Architects and founding partner of Rees Roberts + Partners."