Religion, society, nature; these are the three struggles of man. These three conflicts are at the same time, his three needs: It is necessary to believe, hence the temple; it is necessary for him to live, hence the plow and the ship. But these three solutions contain three conflicts. The mysterious difficulty of life stems from all three. Man has to deal with obstacles under the form of superstition, under the form of prejudice, and under the form of the elements. A triple ananke (necessity) weighs upon us: the ananke of dogmas, the ananke of laws, the ananke of things.


To consider cookery through an architectural lens summons up a host of images at the same time culinary and art historical. First to come to some minds will be the romantic creations by the founder of modern French grande cuisine, Antonin Careme, following his dictum: “Most noble of all the arts is architecture, and its greatest manifestation is the art of the pastry chef.” Others, more resolutely post modern, will admire or decry current obsession on the part of certain chefs with “plated” constructions that owe more to inspirations from Frank Gehry’s imaginative craft of novel materials and visual delights than to gustatory pleasure.


From the fanciful art of shifting scales to the logic of measurement promised by a teaspoon or an inch arises the secret architecture of food, or perhaps the secret food of architecture. This quiet apposition of form and substance, found in a plate of tomatoes more Pompeian red than any wall fragment, enunciates the central questions of this collection. What can be learned by examining the intersections of the preparation of meals and the production of space? What can be made from the conflation of aesthetic and sensory tastes in architectural design and what is disclosed by their dissociation? Such questions guide this work toward an architecture found in the gestures, artifacts, and recipes that belie any distinction between art and life.