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on May 14, 2006
These are houses for very rich people who never have to worry about the resale value of their house. The first chapter was very interesting, a brief review of housing history. I enjoyed seeing the workman's cottage with the unheard-of luxury of a plumbed bath - set flush to the kitchen floor and kept covered when not in use. I wonder how many people forgot and fell into it the middle of the night?

This book will be of no help at all if your interest in building a small house is motivated by economy or a desire to minimize the adverse environment impact of the construction. That said, there are a few really good ideas and some astonishingly lovely houses. The Irish "boat house" would be a great place to watch a storm come in, with its glass wall. But I'm not sure why it needs a kitchen and a bath. And the chalet/cabin with a whole-wall "shutter" to cover its large glass picture window is clever. I liked the straw mats hanging as a sunshade off the broad eaves of the clay house in West Africa - it made the house look as if it belonged there, and made the space between the wall and the shade into more useful space.

But the tiny tiny cube house on top of the elevator shaft was just plain weird.

Kind of fun, not very practical.
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on April 9, 2004
The introductory chapter, a brief history of architect-designed small houses (large expensive houses usually get this treatment), was the best part for me, as the author is very knowledgeable. Here he describes the groundskeepers' homes on large estates, and the later workers' cottages built by large companies, that started this category. The rest, however, is the standard thou-shalt-covet-thy-neighbor's-house pictures of very recent, attention-grabbing, expensive, glass-crazy fashion statements.
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on March 8, 2007
A good book with some nice case studies. Not a bad addition to my reference library. I'm giving it 3 stars only because a good 1/4 of the featured homes are not that great and seemed out of place in this book.
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on November 9, 2006
This book has some good material to get the creative juices going. It is a nice collection of interesting designs that give a pretty good sampling of what innovative contemporary residences can look like. I would have liked to see more technical information and details.
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on November 29, 2014
Good book. I wish there were more floorplans and more discussion on potential costs associated with small architecture of this nature.
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on February 15, 2015
Great book on the subject. Diverse examples, mostly in Europe...not a technical book on prefab though. Really enjoyed it...
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