Pliny the Elder’s 2,000-year-old idiom, “Home is where the heart is,” may have been reaffirmed, while concurrently and contradictorily being redefined by Apple TV’s docuseries, Home. The Roman author’s term has been used throughout millennia, with it meaning the emotional attachment one has to their family, and place of origin no matter where they may find themselves in the world. Yet, Apple’s Home (no, not the one in Silicon Valley) draws upon a whole body of contributory factors that reconsider the definition of what home really means.
The streaming documentary series explores and examines the themes and attributes that constitute modern homes. From a sense of community and belonging to the genetic makeup of a house, the documentary series proves there is more to a home than just bricks and mortar, both in a literal capacity and in a metaphorical sense. It delves deep into the heart of communities and investigates the pioneers behind some practically magical structures, revealing some of the world’s most ingenious homes. Here is why architecture lovers need to watch Home on Apple TV+ and tune in to the new season…
Whether it be the Catalonian Antoni Gaudi, whose Art Nouveau approach to modern architecture fabricated the intricately beautiful city of Barcelona, or the Danish Arne Jacobsen’s more simplistic functionalism — regardless of the style, architecture is an art form and architects can be true trailblazers when it comes to structural artistry.
Home showcases the crème de la crème of the architectural world, highlighting the most innovative, imaginative, and forward-thinking builds and taps into the finest engineering minds that have designed them. Over two seasons, the program globe-trots from the previously destitute parts of southern Chicago, the bamboo cathedral-esque buildings in the remote forests of Bali, to the contemporary longhouse in Australia that embraces Mother Nature within its four walls.
The combination of architects and designers in this series have used some of the most obscure natural materials and resources on offer, taking “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to new lengths, heights, and depths. Space is never an issue either, as is evident in the ”Domestic Transformer” in Hong Kong; from what is ostensibly a box flat in an apartment block, a one-room, cramped studio flat is turned into a multi-purpose space by a movable wall design that simply alters the dimensions of the room and changes the floor plan entirely.
The originality of everything seen in the show is truly breathtaking, and the series is really demonstrative of how the home is what you make of it, especially as exemplified by an Icelandic family setting up a residence in an old, dilapidated concrete factory.
For some, architecture is just delineating a blueprint for builders and workers to erect. Buildings are everywhere, and often don’t symbolize anything at all for most people, nor hold much in the way of real meaning. However, in Apple TV’s Home, the renovations commonly represent the community and shared space. Chicagoan Theaster Gates uses his motivation of bettering the lives of those within his area to manufacture and fashion buildings that house multidisciplinary events, from art exhibitions in the Archive and Listening houses, to film events for up-and-coming Black filmmakers in his Black Cinema House.
The documentary series provides an insight into how homes are not always just somewhere you live, but a place that gives back to its community and is perhaps overlooked by other parts of society, and neglected by its local government. A place where passions, interests, and ideas can be shared, where art can be exhibited, and where a concrete, glass, metal, and wood oasis can be provided to those who may not have access to one.
Home is a Lesson in Renewable Resources
In a time when environmental activism is being ignored by the world’s major powers, and where the mass reliance on fossil fuels is jeopardizing the future of our planet, Home tells the stories of people who are conscious of climate change, utilizing recyclable materials and renewable energy supplies to build and maintain their homes.
The “Naturhaus” in Sweden, built predominantly out of wood, encased in a greenhouse-like structure to replicate a Mediterranean climate, and heated by the wood chopped down by Anders Solvarm and his family, is an excellent example of the kind of resource reclamation the show explores. Home provides inspiration, and promotes freedom of expression when it comes to house design, but also in the way people want to live their lives — in innovative, wholesome, and avant-garde ways.