From Publishers Weekly
The first volume in the joint imprint launched by Taunton Press and the American Institute of Architects, this exploration of "distinctive and timeless" homes proves that good design can be very human design. While upscale shelter magazines seem to delight in houses laid out for visual effect-the living room as graphic design more than functional interior-the homes Eck features here illustrate the enduring, comfortable qualities of the genuinely livable home. An architect and landscape painter, Eck identifies four primary tenets of a pleasing home-its site, floor-plan, exterior face and details-and demonstrates how they should balance each other and the world around them. (As Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen said, "Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context-a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment.") When these four elements are carefully considered, Eck believes, they result in atmospheres of sustained pleasure and character. He roams the country for examples of the distinction he prizes, finding it in Rhode Island beach homes and California bungalows, New England farmhouses and suburban custom jobs, all of which harmonize with their surroundings and within their parts to provide their tenants with daily domestic gratification. Copiously illustrated with architectural drawings and photographs of inviting interiors and intelligent facades (and occasionally enlivened by asides lambasting the thoughtless placement and stingy finish of contemporary home architecture), this unpretentious and impressive project will provide food for thought for anyone looking to buy, renovate or build a house.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Jeremiah Eck is a contributor for Taunton Press titles including The Face of Home.