Washington DC is going through a real estate boom. Except there isn’t a lot of real estate to build on. The unique combination of population density, rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and lax zoning and code regulations means developers eager to cash in on the District’s real estate boom have been taking hundred year old rowhouses bought for a song, throwing on a third floor “pop-up” and converting them into condo units. More often than not, the designs of the pop-ups look nothing like the rest of the neighborhood, prompting neighbor ire about the character of the neighborhood architecture being changed. [more inside]
"Parlors, “dining chambers,” and other spaces amenable to dining began appearing in architecture plans. Each nation seemed to have its own idea as to what constituted a proper dining room. The great Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti wrote that it “should be entered off the bosom of the house,” advising further that, “[a]s use demands, there should be [a dining room] for summer, one for winter, and one for middling seasons.” Some two centuries later Englishman William Sanderson would recommend that a “Dyning-Roome” be hung with pictures of kings and queens." The Austerity Kitchen presents A Short History Of The Dining Room Part 1 / Part 2.
If your apartment building is looking a little plain, just build a house on the roof. NYC isn’t the only place to find homes on rooftops, though some aren’t for the faint of heart.
The post-war boom gave rise to new concepts of modernity in domestic architecture and, of course, massive suburban development. One such concept was the California ranch-style home, pioneered by Cliff May (1909-1989). Another contemporary architect, Joseph Eichler (1900-1974), had his own vision of modernity in America's new suburbs, but both styles used similar language. At the time, these new designs for living were seen as modern and at the cutting edge of sophistication, but sophistication within reach of the average professional, middle-class family. They were designed to have a practical as well as an aesthetic value. Welcome to mid-century modern. [more inside]
Imbued with asymmetrical charm and handcrafted whimsy, Storybook Style houses evoke the aesthetic of classic fairy tales, inside and out. [more inside]
For your enjoyment: detailed floor plan drawings of popular TV and film homes.
A tale of two shipping containers in photos.
In 1956 a 12-year-old Jim Berger exchanged letters with Frank Lloyd Wright. The result was a Wright designed doghouse.
The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city. There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in. All five of them. [more inside]
Everyone has fantasized about it, usually while scrubbing a floor or cleaning a toilet. Well, Frances Gabe did something about it: she invented the self-cleaning house, the one the future has been promising us for years. (This 2007 Weird America Interview/Tour mocks her, but it's the only video of the house I could find.) Just imagine: You put your dirty dishes back in the cabinets which double as dishwashers; the closets are laundry machines. Every room has wash, rinse, and dry buttons. [more inside]
Eichler homes! Most Eichlers are located in northern California, but you can find a few developments in the southland. People restore and renovate their Eichlers, write magazine articles about them, and take lots of photos of them. Even Mr. Incredible owned an Eichler. But owning an Eichler is not for everyone. Want to buy an Eichler? Join the Eichler Network or tour an open house.
The Reas' previous house was destroyed in a winter storm - such are the perils of living on Unst - most northerly of the Shetland isles. On re-building the pensioner couple have constructed what they claim is the world's first occupied zero carbon emission house - using off the shelf materials. Here is a video interview with them and a few more details about the house. [more inside]
In Portland, Oregon sits the Wilkinson residence, designed by Robert Oshatz. It is kind of neat. [via]
Humble abode: Loftcube // Rucksack House // Micro-Compact Home // Superadobe // Zigzag Cabin // Tree Sphere // Mirador // La Petite Maison du Weekend _ all via.
Open House, Home Turned Upsidedown "This house at 15 S. Putnam has stood victim to the elements – it’s been vandalized, looted, and its leaking roof has made it uninhabitable. In June 2006, the structure was condemned by the city due to structural problems, destined for demo. But now – thanks to cooperation between the University of Buffalo School of Architecture, Harvey Garrett, and home owner Dennetta Stikkel – new, and decidedly unique, life will be breathed into the otherwise abandoned house. Under the direction of Professors Frank Fantauzzi and Brad Wales, the project architect, 14 graduate students will be working creatively to revitalize the structure. It is a unique opportunity for the students to use their classroom architecture training in a real-life application." Quoted from Buffalo Rising Story Longer story on the completed project at Artvoice.
Room With A View. Has the view out of your living room window become boring and stale? No problem, build yourself a million dollar Rotating Home. A former office manager, self prclaimed "hobbyist" Al Johnstone has built quite the technological feat [PDF] despite having no engineering background, obtaining around 30 patents in the process.
Contemporary buildings and interiors by Johnston Marklee & Associates, including The Sale House in Venice, CA, and The Hill House in Pacific Palisades
This has a value in our profession, and it doesn't have to do with scale at all. It has to do with the actual meaning of a house.
The Mushroom House in Whistler, Canada, is the result of 22 years of work by artist/creator Zube. "The interior design is based on the anatomy of a tree. All aspects of the décor reflect this motif, from the womblike hues of the Jacuzzi room in the 'roots' to the vivid leaf greens on the walls in the 'canopy'." [Via Boing Boing.]
Hot Little Igloos And Tutti-Frutti Toadstools or Living In Your Own I-Pod: Affordable housing gets seriously cute and makes Hobbits or Bubble boys and girls of all of us. The floor plans are versatile and the rentals (from $68 to $110 a week) are enticing. The "idea that governed the whole planning of Dome Park Lane and really became our goal was to provide clean, secure and -- most importantly -- affordable housing for low-income individuals." Are monolithic domes too good to be true or too weird to catch on? I sincerely hope not. [Via Linkfilter].
Trash homes a.k.a. earthships sound like the way to go. Now if they would start building them here in Seattle...