Ben Jacks – A House and Its Atmosphere

Forthcoming on 1 October, 2017

About the Book

A House and its Atmosphere is a meditative essay about the experience of designing and building a house of one’s own. Told in seventy black and white photographs and a series of narrative excursions, architect Ben Jacks reflects on a lifetime of influences as he reveals the personal nature of inhabiting a place at the edge of a tidal cove on an island in Maine. A House and its Atmosphere quietly advocates for the simple logic and modest ease of direct experience and an observational perspective in architecture.

In chapters about imagining, walking, and designing Ben Jacks reflects on the essence of architectural experience, describing what it is like to begin to make momentous decisions, arguing that aesthetic experience is the result of how one has learned to see. Memory, family, nature, relationships, and work inform design at every step.

A House and its Atmosphere is a grounded story about designing and building a small work of architecture. With students of architecture and amateur builders in mind, Ben Jacks makes a case for design informed by theories of place-identification, detail, and craft. The book is a primary source and a chronicle of experience of radical empiricism. As such it offers a kind of conceptual tool kit for those interested in thinking about the processes of architecture, designing, and placemaking.

A House and its Atmosphere is a fresh and valuable contribution to the shelter memoir genre, from a professional architect’s perspective.

About the Author

Ben Jacks is an architect, writer, and teacher, holding degrees from the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. He is an Associate Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

In 1991 Ben walked the Appalachian Trail, 2000 miles from Georgia to his home state of Maine. The experience of walking and camping inspired and continues to inform his thinking and writing about architecture, aesthetics, landscape, and place, which has been published in leading journals and presented at numerous academic conferences in the North America and Europe. He is the author of The Architect’s Tour: Notes for the Design Traveler (Culicidae Architectural Press).

He lives with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Deer Isle, Maine.

How to Buy the Book

If you’re interested in a review copy prior to October 1, please drop us a note via our contact page.

Once the book is published, special pricing will be available for students and faculty with .edu email addresses. Go to our contact page and send us a note from your .edu email address to order the book at 25% off of the retail price of $19.95.

Alternatively, if you work for a library or a bookstore, send us a note via our contact page to buy the book at 50% off of the retail price.

Book Details

Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Culicidae Architectural Press; 1 edition (July 31, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941892248
ISBN-13: 978-1941892244
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces