UO professor’s ‘Living Over the Store’ explores mixed-use buildings
“Shop houses” – buildings that accommodate both working and living – have existed quietly in the background in cities worldwide for centuries but only now has a book been dedicated to them: “Living Over the Store: Architecture and Local Urban Life,” written by University of Oregon architecture professor Howard Davis and published by Routledge.
The shop house is the original mixed-use building, having populated main streets across the country with stores at street level and housing above.
“I’m from New York, so I grew up surrounded by these buildings,” says Davis, director of graduate education in the UO Department of Architecture. “About 10 years ago, I realized there were buildings all around that embody the mixed use of a city – and that nobody had ever written about them as a phenomenon of their own.”
This epiphany led to a 10-year research effort that would take him to places as varied as Singapore, Bangkok, Rome, Amsterdam, London and Portland, Oregon. Davis also ties the shop house to current efforts to build mixed-use buildings again, after years of zoning and codes had separated living and working spaces.
Davis’ first book, “The Culture of Building,” won Best Publication in Architecture and Urban Studies from the Association of American Publishers in 2000.