Reasons for walling a house

About Reasons for walling a House 51N4E Ruby Press 2012

Some architectural books don’t looks like that, and I like it. Reasons for walling a House 51N4E studio, edit by Ruby press is one of them.

Ruby press is an independent publisher based in Berlin, they transform books into projects, unusual to find two similar to others. Andreas and Ilka Ruby direct the publishing house, but they are not editor, they’ve been writing about architecture for ages, walking with extreme wisdom in the subtle edge splitting from other discipline, so they wander off many times and translate their books in amazing stories.

In this book architecture, an house project, appear and disappear telling their committer’s story, a couple of collectors who are living, after several years, in the forest’s edge.

In 2003 they ask a Belgian studio 51N4E to rethink the project, after few years of discussion and comparison, the project come to term, the interior emptied and completely thought over, the house surrounded by a light iron wall. The wall’s thickness, deliberately light, make unstable this border which became a metaphor of creative isolation, the border do not divide but establish a relation between the users, the urban and mental space that the landlords decide to create with their guests. An endless space, even if is limited by a precise sign, sharp, proposing a different way of housing because is life goes behind the physical space lived. The landlords decide to convert the building into a guest house for artists, architects, thinkers and they start to invite some of them : Enrique Marty, 51N4E, Andrea Branzi, Josse De Pauw, Something Fantastic, BeL, Dirk Braeckman.

The guests have free rein and they can stay as much as they like, the only rule is to leave their path’s trace. Traces are listed in the book as the project’s description and many other story that make this book a masterpiece of his own kind (if this kind does exist).

Not an architectural book, not an art book, not a tale; the screenplay of the building’s life made not only through walls, spaces and materials, but also build through life switching inside it, in a role game changing and modifying as the border of disciplines. So where is architecture? In its absence or even better in the discrete and in the same time strong presence, an architecture without language but with a speech firm and determined.

Originally published at

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