From the Palatine Hill in Rome to Westminster and Versailles, and from the Big Brother House to the ha Crystal Palace and back and forth to a suburban sitting room, this treasure-trove of lost interiors and their larger-than-life occupants illuminates the ways in which our rooms speak for us.

The Art of Interior Design is, this book argues, the art of memory, in which we arrange images and objects in order to remind us where we've come from, what to say, how to behave, and what we desire. The order of things in our rooms models the Order of Things in its widest sense, and this book charts the story of how we make ourselves at home in the world.

The Memory Palace: A Book of Lost Interiors will be launched in September 2013, by Portobello Books




A huge, telescopic operation, 'a story that takes us from the cave to the cloud', Hollis's conceit is, finally, strong enough for its purposes. Tiptoeing a path somewhere between restoration and ruination, through a present that is 'the ruin of the past, a room rearranged rather than invented,' The Memory Palace is a provocative and thoughtful piece of work.

David Anderson reviews 'The Memory Palace' at Review 31


The Memory Palace is one of the Sunday Times' books of the year 2013!

With a poet's sensibility and a historian's delight, Hollis elegantly
uncovers how we use objects and space to define ourselves through memory.

James McConnachie,Sunday Times 2nd December 2013


Architect Hollis (The Secret Lives of Buildings) dazzles and dizzies the reader in this cultural history of interiors and how the spaces we inhabit, decorate, and fill come to represent our sense of the world and the order we make of it.

Publishers Weekly, US


Here, as in his first book, The Secret Lives of Buildings, Hollis proves
a refreshing thinker. He reaches beyond aesthetics and into the more unusual
territory of how buildings are not only structures that architects make, but
also whatever the rest of us come to make of them

Thomas Marks reviews the Memory Palace in the Telegraph 21.09.13


The Memory Palace is ostensibly a selective and often forensic history of interiors. But it is, more tellingly, a kind of instruction manual about ways of thinking about these histories. It's less a descriptive route-march through physical interiors, more a treatise about the mysteries of time and place'

Jay Merrick reviews 'the Memory Palace' in the Independent


The Memory Palace is on the long list for the Samuel Johnson Prize for
non fiction
 2013- the short list is announced on the 30th September 2013


'Hollis is not the man to baulk at unlikely juxtapositions and, as in his previous book, we are invited to make extraordinary and exhilarating connections over time and space.'

Gillian Tindall in the Literary Review


'All books have brief indicators of subject matter on the back. Hollis's reads "History/Architecture", to which could be added classical culture, popular culture, monarchy, politics, consumerism, memoir, art collecting and more. This is the kind of non-fiction - like the work of WG Sebald or Paul Collins or Rebecca Solnit - that makes fiction seem predictable, thin and uncurious.'

Stuart Kelly in the Scotsman, 10th August 2013


'A book to lose yourself in. Rooms and memories, evocations of places past and present. Regia, Royal halls, Big Brother, Hollis' grandmother's card table all resonate with history. You might pick up some history but you'll keep reading for pure pleasure.'

RIBA journal July 2013