The Low-Down An architectural conversation starter.

The Low-Down An architectural conversation starter.

Issue 42

,

Design

  • Words Alex Anderson
  • Artwork Alexis Christodoulou

The act of conversation has always had an architectural framework. In ancient Rome, the triclinium—a small dining table surrounded on three sides by couches—was a dedicated space for food and talk. Chilly medieval houses added benches next to a central fireplace to create nooks for intimate conversations. Arts and Crafts designers in England and the United States adapted these “inglenooks” in late-19th-century cottages. As modern central heating made toasty alcoves unnecessary, 20th-century house planning blended functions across large continuous rooms. To make space for intimate talk in these sprawling open spaces, architects devised a novel (some might say novelty) solution: the conversation pit.

The Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, along with industrial designer Char...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)