Designing a private home is a delicate and complicated affair, even for the most experienced architect. The challenges are not just creative, nor are they merely structural. When working to much more modest scales than public projects, with less complex technical equipment than industrial sites, there are so many settings, colours, lights and objects to balance and characters, dialogues and emotions to reflect and narrate that architects perforce have to become half filmmaker, half therapist. Only then can they edit and organise the space in such a way as to narrate an engaging story. The story of its future inhabitants. This is something of which Philip Jodidio is all too aware. His book, Contemporary Houses, published by Taschen, reflects on how the most arduous task facing designers is to translate all the emotional associations and practical requirements into something real. The book contains 100 of the most interesting and avantgarde houses built around the world over the past decade by both established and emerging talents, including John Pawson, Richard Meier, Shigeru Ban, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Herzog and de Meuron, Daniel Libeskind, Álvaro Siza, UNStudio and Peter Zumthor. All spaces that have provided infinite opportunities for experimenting with new method and materials for domestic living, allowing their architects to breathe life into unique and exceptional spaces – and experiences.