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The Most Beautiful House in the World

Witold Rybczynski takes us on an extraordinary odyssey as he tells the story of the designing and building of his own house. Rybczynski’s project began as a workshed; through a series of “happy accidents”, however, the structure gradually evolved into a full-fledged house. In tracing this evolution, he touches on matters both theoretical and practical, writing on such diverse topics as the distinguished structural descendants of the humble barn, the ritualistic origins of the elements of classical architecture, and the connections between dress, habitation and gastronomy. Rybczynski discusses feng-shui, the ancient Chinese art of locating a home in the landscape, and also considers the theories and work of such architects as Palladio, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright. An eloquent examination of the links between being and building, The Most Beautiful House in the World offers insights into the joys of “installing ourselves in a place, of establishing a spot where it would be safe to dream.”

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