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The New American House 4: Innovations in Residential Design and Construction (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 2003

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Book by Trulove James

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The beginning of a new century would seem to be the ideal time to document the design trends for new residential construction in the United States. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Let me be the devil's advocate 23 avril 2005
Par ArchiZona - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The purpose of my review is to share my comments about this book so that potentail readers could have a balanced view. I also picked up this book at Borders. Fortunately, I did not have to unwrap it...

There are tons of books on modern residential architecture published in recent years. And I (probably you too) have already read quite a few of them. When thinking about getting a new book on the same topic, the key questions we shall all think about are:

What's new in this book? What makes this book different from those I have already read? What does this book add to my collection? What's the unique contribution? What do I learn from this book over and beyond all others?

Unfortunately, this book provides weak answers to these questions. In general, the majority of the houses featured in this book are redundant, uninspiring, and boring. One exception is the SOMA house. There are not many creative ideas in these design. Moderism in architecture is not simply equal to having large glazed windows or using some industrial-flavored materials like concrete. It's a philosophy and life style. It's about innovation and exploration. Many projects selected in this book lack this underlying core. These buildings are just traditional ranch houses with a pseudo-modern apperance.

From a practical standpoint, though some minimalist, bold, and avant-garde houses seem to be "unlivable", clever thinkers can always transform those "unrealistic" elements into feasible design which fits everyday living condition. That's the excitement about architecture and designing: experimentation, creation, and interpretation.

For some good references, check out a book called "Stunning Houses" for high quality and livable modern residential projects. If you want some intellectual stimulation, try "Architecture Now 3" published by Taschen and "XS : Big Ideas in Small-Scale Building". You'll know what I am talking about.

Despite the critiques, this book does have some strengths (also discussed by another reviewer Conan). The text is really detailed. You can also find detailed floor plans and other technical drawings. And I LOVE those beautiful pictures.

In conclusion, this book is mediocre comparing with other books on the same topic. I suggest you borrow a copy from a library or just skim through it in a book store. Considering its price, it is not a wise investment.
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
GREAT resource for contemporary residential design ideas! 12 décembre 2004
Par Conan Librarian - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
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!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Photos 6 mai 2007
Par Greg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As with everything else from this author, it is just a collection of pretty pictures, with absolutely no detail on materials and construction techniques. There is a reason his books are so cheap.
Monotonous Voids 21 juillet 2013
Par S. Newland - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I picked this up for free at on of our city's free sidewalk mini-libraries and, as a residential architect, was eager to look through it. There are several innovative and well-designed houses featured, but the overall impression that I got from the book was that of repetitive, dull, empty images. The text, data, and drawings were nice to have and occasionally illuminating, but since the cost data on virtually each house was the same ("Withheld at owners' request", it became clear that these are all luxury homes, and it made me wonder why the cost category was even included. Most of the interior photographs are composed in a similar way, and show the same tasteful but sparse furniture, with little evidence of the homes being lived in. The geographic coverage was almost exclusively from the East and West coasts, except for one house each from Kentucky, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. In the end, Trulove and Kim's book was worth what I paid, but I will be returning it to the lending library from which it came.
Five Stars 6 août 2014
Par Tengo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
great book
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