The House, the Home and the Housing Question





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Housing is a central program in contemporary architectural production. Incorporating civilizing values of 19th century culture, the house arrives in the 20th century at the time notions of private space and domestic comfort come to the fore in Western Culture as values inseparable from the emergence of the family in domestic space: the home. In 1951 Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), in his Darmstader sprache, “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken”, relates the word building (bau) with the verb “to be” and the action of “being” (bin), to conclude that dwelling is the fundamental trait of being, the mortals’ living condition. Looking to reframe the sense of construction and to identify the meaning of “being”, Heidegger’s criticism is moved by the failure of the so-called rational materialistic solution, and opens the discussion up to the re-evaluation of the design action as a unique, magical and creative action.

How to Cite

Tostões, A. (2014). The House, the Home and the Housing Question. Docomomo Journal, (51), 2–3.




Author Biography

Ana Tostões, University of Lisbon

Ana Tostões PhD is an architect, architecture critic and historian, and is president of Docomomo International and Editor of the Docomomo Journal ( Her mandate in Docomomo International, since 2010, has been marked by the transformation of the organisation into a truly worldwide network and the Docomomo Journal into the only international periodical which regularly provides a critical look at the contemporary context focused on a broad vision of the Modern Movement Architecture and its reuse. She is a Full Professor at Técnico, University of Lisbon, where she teaches Theory of Architecture and Critical History, and coordinates the Architectonic Culture research group.


Martin Heidegger, Bauen, Wohnen, Denken, Vortäge und Aufsätze, G. Neske, Pfullingen, 1954 [1951]; CIAM II, L’Habitation Minimum, Zaragoza, COAA, 1997 [orig. German, 1933]; Sigfried Giedion, Befreites Whonen, Leipzig, Orell Füssil, 1929.