Narrow Houses

Narrow Houses

New Directions in Efficient Design

Book - 2010 | 1st ed.
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Since the beginning of the housing boom of the 1950s, the size of the average North American house has steadily grown while the size of the average family has decreased. Today, a growing number of homebuyers seeking smaller, more efficient residential designs are rediscovering a centuries old housing prototype: the narrow house. Measuring twenty-five-feet wide or less, these "infill" or "skinny" houses, as they are often called, are on the rise in cities and suburbs around the world. The benefits of building small and narrow are numerous: greater land-use efficiency, less building material, fewer infrastructure costs, lower utility bills, and flexible layouts. This building type creates environmentally sensible houses that allow homeowners to live within their means.Narrow Houses presents a thorough overview of the practical considerations of designing a narrow-front home, including siting, floor arrangements, footprint, and interior and exterior finishing. The book documents twenty-eight innovative examples of narrow houses from around the world designed by today's foremost architects. Project data including floor plans and extensive interior and exterior photography demonstrate the inherent flexibility of this housing model and the many possibilities for adaptingthese homes to the constraints of site, climate, budget, family size, and other needs.
Publisher: New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781568988733
Branch Call Number: 728 FRIEDMA
Characteristics: 240 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.


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Sep 09, 2011

The 28 narrow houses in this coffee table book are purported to represent "efficient design" yet the average floor area is 1,500 sq. feet and many are sited on large rural lots.

Perhaps half of these homes have interiors that are about as appealing as a hospital operating theatre! Few of them look "homey". Several look like the interiors of machines. About one-third of the examples lack any interior photographs (what are they hiding?)! These architects are apparently unfamiliar with the fundamental architectural forms identified by Christopher Alexander in his monumental book "A Pattern Language."

The book concludes with 50 pages of essays on design principles, interiors, and the history of narrow houses. Unfortunately the essays seem disconnected from the examples presented in the first 175 pages.

Jul 24, 2011

It is interesting to see how much living space can be found in a narrow home. However, there are a very few that are 25 feet wide, which is more than our house, so I don't think they belong in this book.


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