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The New American House 4: Innovations in Residential Design and Construction (Vol 4) Paperback – June 1, 2003

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Grayson Trulove is the author, publisher, and editor of over 40 books on architecture, landscape architecture, and garden design. He resides in Washington, DC, and New York City.
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Product Details

  • Series: New American
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823031764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823031764
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The purpose of my review is to share my comments about this book so that potentail readers could have a balanced view. I also picked up this book at Borders. Fortunately, I did not have to unwrap it...

There are tons of books on modern residential architecture published in recent years. And I (probably you too) have already read quite a few of them. When thinking about getting a new book on the same topic, the key questions we shall all think about are:

What's new in this book? What makes this book different from those I have already read? What does this book add to my collection? What's the unique contribution? What do I learn from this book over and beyond all others?

Unfortunately, this book provides weak answers to these questions. In general, the majority of the houses featured in this book are redundant, uninspiring, and boring. One exception is the SOMA house. There are not many creative ideas in these design. Moderism in architecture is not simply equal to having large glazed windows or using some industrial-flavored materials like concrete. It's a philosophy and life style. It's about innovation and exploration. Many projects selected in this book lack this underlying core. These buildings are just traditional ranch houses with a pseudo-modern apperance.

From a practical standpoint, though some minimalist, bold, and avant-garde houses seem to be "unlivable", clever thinkers can always transform those "unrealistic" elements into feasible design which fits everyday living condition. That's the excitement about architecture and designing: experimentation, creation, and interpretation.

For some good references, check out a book called "Stunning Houses" for high quality and livable modern residential projects.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up at a local Borders bookstore. It was pretty expensive and wrapped in cellophane so you couldn't read it before buying. Well, I confess I unwrapped it while hiding behind a bookshelf because I refused to fork over ~$50 without at least browsing through a pricey and unfamiliar book.

Anyway, after perusing just the first half of this substantial book, I was SOLD. I have been hunting through book after book after book for really good and useful ideas on residential contemporary home design (I have a 15 wooded acre lot I'm planning on building on soon). So many of the books I looked at lacked any real, meat and potatoes/useful detail, and/or they emphasized large commercial structures and/or they went on about these trendy, vague, completely unrealistic notions concerning design (like some guy living in a cardboard box with a toilet). Other books on "minimalism" (a stark, modernistic style) were intriguing and interesting, but really in the end...were completely unrealistic. I mean, where am I supposed to keep my "SCHTUFF???" (yeah, I know, I'm one of those shallow, bourgeois, materialistic Westerners).

Other modern architecture books usually provide just a few flashy pictures and some unspecific/unclear, artsy fartsy double talk/new agey bs description of some millionaire's home in southern California. C'mon, not really useful for a Joe Blow like me who needs some real ideas and a much more fleshed out description of how these houses are designed and built.

Well, this book is not like that. Don't get me wrong, it is a thick, sophisticated and richly detailed book. And although most of the homes in it are also the very expensive "millionaire homes", there are also some more modest homes included as well.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this up for free at on of our city's free sidewalk mini-libraries and, as a residential architect, was eager to look through it. There are several innovative and well-designed houses featured, but the overall impression that I got from the book was that of repetitive, dull, empty images. The text, data, and drawings were nice to have and occasionally illuminating, but since the cost data on virtually each house was the same ("Withheld at owners' request", it became clear that these are all luxury homes, and it made me wonder why the cost category was even included. Most of the interior photographs are composed in a similar way, and show the same tasteful but sparse furniture, with little evidence of the homes being lived in. The geographic coverage was almost exclusively from the East and West coasts, except for one house each from Kentucky, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. In the end, Trulove and Kim's book was worth what I paid, but I will be returning it to the lending library from which it came.
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By Greg on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with everything else from this author, it is just a collection of pretty pictures, with absolutely no detail on materials and construction techniques. There is a reason his books are so cheap.
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By Tengo on August 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
great book
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