I picked this book up at a local Borders bookstore. It was pretty expensive and wrapped in cellophane so you couldn't read it before buying. Well, I confess I unwrapped it while hiding behind a bookshelf because I refused to fork over ~$50 without at least browsing through a pricey and unfamiliar book.
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. Plus, and more importantly, they really devote a full dossier of technical information and a beautiful exterior and interior photographic outlay of each home (in full glorious color). And even with the expensive homes, many of the design elements can still be transcribed and adapted to a more modest home (within reason of course). They also include site plans for each home and plenty of details concerning the construction and design strategies. A decently fleshed out documentary that you can really sink your teeth into - something you can actually use to learn more about new, cutting edge designs and to stimulate thought and creative brainstorming for your own house...which is just what I was looking for!
Sometimes books are wrapped in cellophane at the bookstore to prevent a potential buyer from seeing how pretentious, overpriced and overrated a book is before buying it...but this is NOT one of those books. If you want to learn more about modern residential home design, then I couldn't recommend this book more!