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McMansion or not?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Kent Wang, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    This is starting to sound very Howard Roarke'ish.
     


  2. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    So linoleum is was not meant to replace a natural product? Ditto laminates?
    Personally, I love linoleum!
     


  3. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    This is starting to sound very Howard Roarke'ish.

    I'm just trying to condition your thought process before you buy this car.

    [​IMG]
     


  4. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    This is starting to sound very Howard Roarke'ish.
    Those of us who have been to architecture school have had lots of practice in how to talk without saying anything.
     


  5. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    Those of us who have been to architecture school have had lots of practice in how to talk without saying anything.
    Ultimately, prewar homes are more expensive than new homes of identical size precisely because they aren't defined by that degree of bullshit that motivates McMansions' construction. There is a longevity in their value and once you've lived in one you understand its merit. The McMansion is destined to lose and a hundred years from people will wonder why we thought deceitful expressions of wealth added value to our domesticity.
     


  6. gort

    gort Senior member

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    A house built today in the Georgian style -- even if historically correct in terms of its elements of style ... and built using materials true to the period (which is not completely possible) -- is still only a house in the Georgian style ... it is not Georgian. There is a difference ... a big difference.

    I can guarantee you that a house designed for living -- as opposed to a historical exhibit -- will have a plan that has been adpted to modern use ... a plan that will be significatnly at odds with the original in terms of rooms & their uses. It will certainly have modern utilities. These are just two of many differences.

    That said, I'm not saying I disapprove ... in fact, I've designed several ... all meticulously detailed. One is in the Bay Area ... another is in Atlanta ... the third had a confidentiality clause and I can say nothing about it.


    Wow, you can't go dropping this line and not say anything. [​IMG]
     


  7. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    The McMansion is destined to lose and a hundred years from people will wonder why we thought deceitful expressions of wealth added value to our domesticity.
    I don't think people will wonder ... I think they'll know exactly what was going on. It's all so very obvious.
     


  8. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Those of us who have been to architecture school have had lots of practice in how to talk without saying anything.
    I know it's unseemly to quote myself ... but what the hell.

    I was just thinking of Oren Safdie's play Private Jokes, Public Places. Safdie is the son of archtiect, Moshe Safdie and his play nails the psychology of several stereotypical -- and all too often deadly accurate -- architectural personalities. I highly recommend it.

    I saw a production at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. Their space is small and offers seating in the round (actually a U). I was seated across from the mother of a fellow professional. On the way out of the theatre I stopped to talk to her. She said to me, "I didn't watch the play, I watched you and your reactions. You were much more entertaining."

    Below is a brief review of the Aurora production of the play:

    Oren Safdie, the son of famed architect Moshe Safdie, has written a biting satire on academia, relationships, and the importance of challenging tradition. Set during the presentation of an architectural thesis, Korean-American Margaret stands before an all-white male jury of famous architects and presents her plans for a public swimming pool. Touted as "an hour and a quarter of laughter...inspired and astonishing" (New York Times), Private Jokes, Public Places is a thought-provoking, whirling dervish of controversy and conflict. As the questions, retorts and wildly disparate points of view propagate, this take-no-prisoners comedy swells to a surprising conclusion.
     


  9. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    it bugs me when people say jealousy but mean envy.
    Please note that I later used the word "envy" ... I did it just for you ... and clarity.
     


  10. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    A McMansion is basically architecture's version of the guy that tries to inconspicuously flex his biceps in photos. Instead of being content letting people know he has 18" biceps, he tries to deceive us into thinking he actually has 20" biceps.
    You forgot to mention the woman with the enhanced bust line.
     


  11. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Yes. It is inferior.

    How is it inferior?
     


  12. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Does vinyl siding made with a fake wood texture improve your life? No. All it does it mimic the materials of colonial houses in order to give the impression that the owner has a slice of authentic America.

    This is a serious question: what if the McMansion is an honest representation of the owner's tastes? For example, they actually like how vinyl siding looks. It's not totally unheard of as there are other things in life where common practices have altered people's tastes, so something that was once considered abhorrent is now considered normal.

    Also, what about the possibility of someone using previously bad material in a novel, beautiful way, like Gehry's Santa Monica house? (No, I don't think that's what McMansions are doing.)

    --Andre
     


  13. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    How is it inferior?

    How is it not?
     


  14. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    How is it inferior?
    It's age resistant. It's meant to look like it's brand new for its entire lifecycle despite that fact that agelessness is a futile goal. It's contradictory. Materials age and when that siding starts to show wear, it will begin to reveal its artificiality and cheapness. As soon as that happens, the little aesthetic appeal it might have had will be gone, as opposed to an old barn that can wear indefinitely and still retain its charm. Aged wood is not flawed. It's delightful. [​IMG] It's also not technically superior because the performance value of a house's siding is in the insulation, and the benefits of "fire retardant" siding are not inclusive to itself. There are any number of materials more suitable for the side of a house if fire or termite prevention are your concerns. The only reason people use it is because it's cheap. And if a person can't afford the real thing, that person's house is too fucking big and they need to downsize to a size that they can actually create with integrity. Eventually, the siding will rot and have to be replaced. At that time, we then have to deal with the environmental impact of all these shitty building materials that aren't biodegradable. Ultimately, houses are multi-generational assets and future generations have to deal with our mistakes. Someone will have to own our errors in judgment, so we shouldn't be building something that people will eventually look at and ask "Why the fuck did you think this was a good idea?" See how quaint this is? [​IMG]
     


  15. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Stephen, you are one judgmental mo-fo. While I too dislike the McMansion farms, where 3.5k sq ft houses are placed on 10k sq foot lots, all with exceedingly similar elevations, etc., I would not talk of what people "should" be doing. It's their money, their choices. For some families, size > quality, particularly in today's mobile and peripetetic society.

    What's your take on this completely natural material dwelling?

    [​IMG]
     


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