Alison & Peter Smithson: Hexenhaus. A House for a Man and a Cat

A poetic work with lattices and built-fabrics

Alison & Peter Smithson

A&P Smithson Hexenhaus-Archiv & Walther König, 2021


It all began with a letter in May 1984, signed by a tom-cat in Bad Karlshafen, addressed to another tom-cat in London. In the letter, the cat known as Sir Karl, writing on behalf of his butler Axel Bruchhäuser, commissioned Snuff – the cat belonging to architects Alison & Peter Smithson – to construct two lookouts for his “Hexenhaus”. The letter marked the start of a fateful collaboration between Axel Bruchhäuser and the architects, the prelude to permanent alterations to the Hexenhaus – itself a poetic construct of lattices and built-fabrics. Step by step, the house was expanded and opened to admit the light as well the trees, which became part of the interior. The Hexenhaus is a testament to the early, radical style of the Smithsons, to the corrective and anti-aesthetic character of their finest designs – and at the same time, a monument to the professional work of Alison & Peter Smithson.


ISBN: 9783960989325

272 pages, 212 illustrations, 28,5 x 22 cm, paperback, English