Residential Designs for the 21st Century: An International Collectionby Casey C.M. Mathewson
An inspiring international collection of innovative residential designs.
The 200 houses showcased in this book spotlight the astounding variety seen in new residential architecture. This collection of contemporary homes comes from North America, South America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Africa. Some homes incorporate an intense dedication to/i>
An inspiring international collection of innovative residential designs.
The 200 houses showcased in this book spotlight the astounding variety seen in new residential architecture. This collection of contemporary homes comes from North America, South America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Africa. Some homes incorporate an intense dedication to cultural traditions, while others are on the edge of new trends. All share the need of providing shelter.
The diversity in this global inventory is vast: seaside, energy efficient, hilltop, geometrically shaped, tiny, narrow, inventive extensions, traditional materials, prefab, in-ground, slope-side, elevated, floating. Some of the distinct locations included are Oregon's rugged coastline, Australia's scorching interior, South America's mountainside cities, Finland's wintry forests, Indonesia's steamy beaches, inner city neighborhoods, outlying suburbs and rural locales. A great many of the designs respond to extremely challenging building sites with solutions that are nothing short of brilliant.
Concise descriptions of each home include key features, along with floor plans and photographs showing interiors, exteriors and details. Each house is identified by name, location, year built and square footage as well as information on the architect. Profiles of 20 of the world's most creative architectural firms provide depth and background to the portfolio of designs.
This volume is essentially a catalog of modern houses and a jumping-off point for readers inspired to look elsewhere for more information on the selected designs. Mathewson (XXSmall Houses), founder of Mathewson Architektur Berlin (an institute for building and research in architecture), profiles 200 houses from six continents, devoting to each house two or four pages of photographs, a plan, and one or two brief paragraphs of text. The result is a tantalizing glimpse of the featured houses rather than a substantive exploration of 21st-century residential architecture. Descriptive captions for the photographs and labels for the plans would have been helpful in deciphering the complex layout of many of the houses. There are a number of recent publications on modern houses in specific geographic areas that provide more detail, including Paul Barrenche's Pacific Modernand Dominic Bradbury's Mediterranean Modern. Buy where there is interest in international architect-designed houses; a marginal purchase for other collections.
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Shelter is an essential human need, but a home, a place of respite and refuge, is a universal desire. Throughout history the challenges obtaining shelter and home have ranged from monumental to merely inconvenient. In every case the problems and their solutions have been as unique and diverse as are humans and their surroundings. Now, the cultural and societal chasms that have resulted in various solutions in different regions of the world are for the most part dissolving. A global economy has translated into global choices in design and materials. While there remain extreme differences in economic capability, technology's rapid and ongoing evolution yields diverse solutions to even the most challenging locations and climatic conditions.
If a building, be it shelter or home, is judged by its appearance, so too are its inhabitants. In the case of a single-family residence, those who live in it need shelter, a building that meets their physical needs and sits soundly in its environment. However they also want a home that satisfies their desires and grants a sense of belonging. As such, the face that it shows to the world should reflect its residents, their values and their dreams.
It is the architects who bear the responsibility of designing these homes. It is no small task, and they must accommodate their client's needs and desires while functioning within the limits of imagination, skill, materials and technology. They must also meet the challenges posed by climate, geography and the site itself. The architect's commission is not only to design a house but to create a home that will nurture the profound relationship that allhumans have with their dwellings. How contemporary architects are responding to these challenges is the subject of this book.
The designs presented here show that although attention to local, regional and national traditions continues to play a central role in the creation of memorable, meaningful homes, a common set of basic concerns and goals unites all of the designs. These include consideration of the house's appearance and how it represents its inhabitants, the focus on the interrelationship between the house and its surroundings, the analytical search for superior solutions to the site's climatic conditions, the care taken to accommodate any special solutions to the site's climatic conditions, the care taken to accommodate any special needs or particular demands of the client, the necessity of building within a given budget, and the objective of a sustainable design that will protect natural resources and conserve energy.
Single-family residences were chosen as the clear focus of this book since they offer architects and their clients the most creative platform for experimenting with individual spatial compositions and new building materials. Many of these houses served as the proving grounds for young architectural firms. As such they are an especially revealing window into the future and upcoming architectural trends. The language that this new generation of architects is developing on these and other residential commissions will form the foundation for their body of work and the principles explored here will shape their careers yet to come.
This book is organized into six continents, which, when considered individually provides a regional context within which to discuss each work, and when viewed together paint a global portrait of residential design today. Climate, geography, history, culture, societal structure, religion, tradition, even building materials -- all contribute to aesthetics that we have come to recognize instantly as African or European or South American, for example. But these lines are blurring as cultural borders fade and intercontinental migration of people and technology accelerates. Ideas flow across the oceans and through the world's schools of architecture. The houses portrayed here document this ever-increasing cohesion in residential architecture worldwide.
Meet the Author
Casey C. M. Mathewson studied architecture in Oregon and Stuttgart. In 1988 he founded mab mathewson architektur berlin an institute devoted to building and research in architecture. He is the author of XXsmallHouses and Beach Houses.
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