Shelter

And then we have this plaudit, following the Chinkvirus lockdown(s):

Shelter in place has us focused on the characteristics of a home that makes us happy. What makes us happy in a home has not changed, but since we are spending more time in a home than ever, we are focused on what makes us happy in a home. Neighborhoods become more important during shelter in place. Here is a home that exudes the elements of a home we enjoy when we shelter in place. Architect Max Levy designed this home that is immersed in nature, enjoys the shared greenways of the neighborhood, and is surrounded by vibrancy.

And this “immersion in nature” looks like this:

You know where this is going, right?  Let’s look at the interior:

It would not surprise me if the cushion coverings were hiding concrete blocks.

This excrescence is part of a series of five houses which inspire us to shelter in place, and only one of the five does not inspire me to load up the Molotov cocktails and go for a little drive down some “shared greenways”.  Here it is:

…and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, this house was designed IN 1939.

All the above are located in Dallas (not renowned for anything classical, architecture least of all), but I do know the real estate market around here quite well, and I can truthfully say that the only houses I’d consider buying in the city would be the few still standing which were built before WWII.

All the rest are either foul beyond words (“mid-century modern” aaargh ) or else ultra-modern carbuncles like the ones above.  The newly-built ones, by the way, all look like they’re owned by Russian oil oligarchs, retired Cowboys footballers, Arab oil sheiks or Colombian druglords.  (And that’s not just my opinion, by the way:  Mr. Free Market, who has been on several tours of the area conducted by Yours Truly, has even worse things to say.)

Here’s one in Plano which exemplifies the type:

At least it looks like something a little classical.  But the supercars parked oh-so casually in the driveway give the game away.

It makes me not want to buy lottery tickets, if that’s all that obscene amounts of money could buy me.

Not Ready For Prime Time

Oh good grief.  Here’s something that at first seems like a good development [sic], but when you see the details…

AUSTIN, Texas — A Kansas City developer has announced America’s first 3D-printed homes for sale.
3Strands is partnering with Austin-based construction technology company ICON to leverage ICON’s proprietary 3D printing construction technology, software, and advanced materials to deliver the two- to four-bedroom homes in Austin.
“We want to change the way we build, own, and how we live in community together,” says Gary O’Dell, 3Strands’ co-founder and CEO. “This project represents a big step forward, pushing the boundaries of new technologies, such as 3D-printed homes.”

Sounds perfect for a town like Austin, dunnit?

And then comes the pic of the likely dwelling:

Yikes.  It looks like a prototype for a CIA detention / torture center.

Let me know when 3D printing can produce one of these, and then we could talk:

Until then, nope.

Amen To All That

Found via Insty, this diatribe against “modern” (fugly) architecture.

“Let’s be really honest with ourselves: a brief glance at any structure designed in the last 50 years should be enough to persuade anyone that something has gone deeply, terribly wrong with us. Some unseen person or force seems committed to replacing literally every attractive and appealing thing with an ugly and unpleasant thing. The architecture produced by contemporary global capitalism is possibly the most obvious visible evidence that it has some kind of perverse effect on the human soul.”

For newcomers to this website — there may be one or two — here are some of my own thoughts on the matter, and you may find a common thread among them all:

Back To The Classic —  My StyleOld Fashioned?  Me?  — Another RCOBTalk About UglyAs I SaidSquares, Cubes And BlocksInsisting On Beauty

Just re-reading some of those posts raised my blood pressure five points.  And that picture at the top of both this article and the one it’s linked to actually made me slightly nauseated.

A pox on all of them.


Afterthought:  I once stayed in a little apartment in this building, just north of Sacré-Cœur in Paris:

While the apartment itself was small and rather foul, every time I stepped out into the streets surrounding the place, I felt invigorated by being in the midst of such beauty.  If I had to step into a street lined with modernist concrete blocks, I’d want to kill myself.

Target Practice

This has been called “the coolest home in Britain“, but I think it should be used for target practice by the Royal Artillery.

One picture should suffice:

It has been described, correctly, as “a shipping container in a field” which would be fine except that shipping containers don’t cost nearly $5 million.

Every single person involved in its construction — from the guy who gave them planning permission, to the architect, builder and owner, all need to be flogged in the public square.

And to think that for just a little more, you could get this place instead…

See the article linked for the interiors.