Joeb Moore & Partners is an architecture and design firm known for its intellect in design, craftsmanship, inventive formal and spatial systems, and details. The practice specializes in precise and creative buildings, landscapes, and furnishings that sensitively respond to their environment and ecologies of place. We are interested in exploring the interface between the social and physical, between convention and invention. In the broadest sense, the office is committed to the ideal that architecture is a material and social art that cunningly engages with the visual, social and political history and culture of which it is an active part. The underlying thesis is that great architecture should deepen human experience, engage our prosaic rituals, while also elevating our awareness of a larger, changing world.
We understand “architecture” as an act of relations, as a relational and deeply situational art where symbolic and real space can duel it out so to speak. It is in this dialogue and the assemblage, in the careful arrangement of space, time, and form, that architecture can produce extraordinarily beautiful, sublime, and tragic recognition in the inhabitant. Toward these ends, we seek to produce/uncover moments of wonder, doubt, and mystery that mark experience as eccentric, as more than mere understanding and presence, where deeper confrontations and conflicts and new social-cultural possibilities and ways of seeing might emerge.
Our work and architecture focuses on the fundamental nature and discord between house and home. In other words, on ontological questions of dwelling and the difficult search for connection and meaning in our work and lives. We believe a “home” is not a house at all; it is less about a fixed form or even a place, but more a journey through time and culture itself, a search and homecoming that confronts us with a deeper understanding of our ourselves, the world, and others. Curiously, this journey is riddled with unknowns, dead ends, and trepidation–no surprise because it is a journey through representation itself, through experiences that reveal identity as an act of relations and as fundamentally unstable. A house, then, is a framework for this search…this journey; a homecoming for a flourishing life.
This journey through self-identity can uncover powerful, psychological moments of beauty, delight, mystery, and doubt. To paraphrase John Dewey, Life as Art and Art as Experience. Here experience brings us into new levels of awareness and interconnection – transforming the familiar. For this reason we delight in spaces that leave room for interpretation, spaces that transcend the present and everyday. Like Loos, we believe the fundamental medium of architecture is absence, “….walking through the forest I come upon a mound, this presence of an absence, this is architecture.” We believe it is in these moments of absence and double meaning that architecture finds its expression as a social and psychological art form.
“If the art of shipbuilding were in the wood, we would have ships by nature.”
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”
“Life is the garment we continually alter but which never seems to fit.”