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The New American House 4: Innovations in Residential Design and Construction (Vol 4) Paperback – June 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›