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 Compact Houses : Architecture for the Environment In an age of "McMansions," this international survey of the latest in residential architecture proves that small is beautiful-and responsible. The houses profiled are designed to make maximum use of the smallest possible footprint in order to protect the environment. The houses profiled here prove that efficiency as well as beautiful, thoughtful design can be had in a tiny setting. Each project includes a case history describing its design challenges and how the architect overcame them, a detailed blueprint for each house, full-color photos of the interior and the exterior, and plans of the layout. This book will be an inspiration to anyone in the interior design or residential architecture field as well as to anyone considering a second home, and proves that environmentally responsible design principles are not just a style but a philosophy for sustainable living.
  Date Published 9/20/2005

Average Rating: Rating Average
Rated By: Thomas Deutsch "Tad"
From: Coeur d' Alene, ID
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Ehh? Could be bigger
I am a minimalist to the fullest, but this book simply lacks depth. The "blueprints" are hardly viewable, let alone descriptive. Most of the structures resemble eachother and are spare, without furnishings or signs of life. I would recommend the book, "PREFAB" by Allison Arieff for bigger pictures, broader concepts and more in depth explanations. I suppose they were making a point by making the size of the book compact, but the few times I was impressed with a structure I would scour the three or so pages devoted to it and then it was over, leaving me wanting much more. Try classics like, "Pierre Koenig", by James Steele or "Julius Shulman: Architecture and Its Photography" by Peter Gossel. Ta Ta
Rated By: Erick M. Rivera
From: San Juan, PR
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Very resourceful book
Nice images. Very nice examples of simple houses made of low-cost materials.
Rated By: Cavallin Federico
From: Treviso, Italy
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Quite good
This is a quite good book dealing with compact houses. I'm not totally satisfied because some of the houses represented are more an architectural exercise than houses in which living. However really good photos, nice ideas and a good rating from the quality-cost point of view.
Rated By: John Matlock "Gunny"
From: Winnemucca, NV
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Makes Me Want to Go Build a New House
I review a lot of architecture books, and this one more than most makes me want to go out and build a new house. The subject of the book is small houses. It consists of pictures and the story of some fifty houses, all of which are less than 1,300 square feet. Many of them are much less than 1,300 feet, indeed down into the 300-400 square foot size.

I live in a small house -- 900 square feet or so -- that's about a hundred years old. But compared to the layout, the beauty the simplicity of design, mine's a dump. I'm getting the urge to go visit a realtor friend. One thing about these houses is that many of them are on what would be considered hard to build on lots. And such lots tend to be cheap. There's a new architect in town that's fresh out of school and may have more originality than the older guys. Maybe if I give her this book, with a few houses marked. Hmmmmm!

One thing I didn't like, most of the bed rooms are on the second floor. I was in a house once that had a fire. The amount of smoke generated in just a minute or two was incredible. I don't want a bed room upstairs, if necessary I want to be able to close the door to keep the smoke out and get out through a wondow or emergency door.

Other than that, this is a great idea book. The pictures are beautiful. There's not as much detail as I would like, but adding detail would have to mean either fewer houses or bigger book, so I guess it's a nice balance.