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Creating a New Old House: Yesterday's Character for Today's Home (American Institute Architects) Paperback – January 1, 2007
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"People love old houses. Versaci explains why, and shows what it takes to create such enduring quality in home design today"
--Philip Morris, former Senior Architecture Editor, Southern Accents
"Versaci presents a masterful survey of the best in new, historically inspired homes...and shares the techniques that architects use to achieve historical resonance and emotional impact."
--Clem Labine, Editorial Director, Traditional Building
"The quality of the architecture presented in this book is excellent."
--Andres Duany, architect, founder of New Urbanism, Duany Plater-Zyberk & amp; Company
About the Author
Russell Versaci has been practicing traditional architecture for two decades. His firm, Russell Versaci Architecture, is noted for creating thoughtful, carefully executed designs for period-style homes that reflect a mastery of history. His first book, "Creating a New Old House," promotes the author's "Pillars of Traditional Design," a set of principles for creating authentic traditional architecture. Versaci's designs have been featured in national magazines, including "Traditional Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, "and "Southern Living," as well as on Good Morning, America.
Top customer reviews
I suppose it should be assumed that if you want to build a new house that looks old, you have to spend more money than for a comparable 'new' new house. But I doubt any of these houses could be built for less than $1 million and several, much more. More to the point, I suspect the cost per sq.ft is probably triple what a typical modern house would cost. Still, it is nice to see what can be done when money is no object and the goal is to build a home that takes it architectural cues from the past. The pictures are well done and impressive in many cases.
I was surprised how many of the houses are not really new houses at all but were restorations. I would have preferred more of the former since to me, the initial challenge is to choose a floorplan and style that feels old and I would like to see how that is done. Another disappointment was how the kitchens were dealt with since that is the area of the house that has changed the most over the years. In most cases, the functionality of the kitchen was secondary to keeping the room historically accurate. Since many of the periods they were reproducing were before the turn of the 20th century, that leaves a lot of conveniences behind and seems impractical if you are going to actually live in the house.
The book does provide general guidance in the form of the 'pillars of traditional design'. However, most people will not be in a position to follow more than half of them and unless you want to create a museum piece, you probably don't need to.
Perhaps there is a book out there for middle class folks who like older style homes and want to either restore or build a new one, but this is not it.