Big Bad House

Built in 2007, I simply ask the question, why? Unfortunately, this is my generation’s legacy, to surely be looked back upon in disgust. Imagine if at the turn of the century the beautiful neighborhoods that populate Capitol Hill or Queen Anne, as examples, were filled with the abortion of style this house represents. What’s happened? The homeowners obviously had enough money to build anything they wanted — why is there such an utter lack of understanding of form, material, and proportion in today’s residential design community?

8 Responses to “Big Bad House”

  1. danb

    Doogie, the answer to your question, in short, is the Mumford quote at the top of this blog.

    The excuse that good design had to be value-engineered out can’t be used here, because the owners of a house like this can afford good design, only they don’t know what it is, and apparently neither does their architect. And by extension, neither does the community.

  2. michael

    Of course it’s all subjective. Your saying that the owners don’t know what good design is…a bit snooty and presumptuous don’t ya think?

    I would argue that in fact the people living in Issaquah Highlands in general have been exposed to some good design…a great mix of small lot SF, townhouse, stacked flats with functional and pleasant open spaces and pedestrian pathways integrated throughout.

    It really comes down to mass consumption – these people wanted a ’supersize’ house, and it is quite a bit more expensive to build a big house with good design and quality materials, just as it is expensive to have a large quantity of gourmet food.

  3. danb

    OK michael, I’m busted — I should have said the owners don’t _care_ about design, if, as you say, they sacrificed design and quality for size.

    So which behavior represents a more balanced and sensitive person and/or community:

    1. eating a modest amount of high-quality food, or
    2. eating too much mediocre food?

    Not that there needs to be a law against number 2, but do you not agree that more of number 1 would tend to indicate a healthier culture? Same goes for the house.

  4. Paul

    “OK michael, I’m busted — I should have said the owners don’t _care_ about design, if, as you say, they sacrificed design and quality for size.”

    I feel the same way, danb. If you have that much budget, why not get some incredible design in there? I mean, I guess it is possible the love it the way it is (and it isn’t 100% awful), but it could be so much more.

    I live in an area with a lot of houses that are very similar to this, and I ask myself often, “why so vanilla?”

    Paul
    Webmaster
    http://www.hometheaterhack.com/

  5. Bill

    I can’t see the surrounding neighborhood, but my guess is that there is a lot of pricey homes that are just as drab.

    I blame it more on the builder who provides some limited choices in return for economies of scale.

    Sure, they should be able to do what they want, but if they don’t know what they want, a persuasive builder can sell this type of stuff all day long

  6. Peter Clark

    I don’t believe that it’s the house that makes the legend. There are many greats in the past who lived in dilapidated buildings especially writers and artists.

    As for the design, well, in a world filled with bad designs, this is a pretty good one in my opinion. If you have the money, why not build what you like. Maybe it’s the architech’s fault for not bringing out the owners’ originality in style and taste.

    “why is there such an utter lack of understanding of form, material, and proportion in today’s residential design community?”– maybe they simply thought big is good or you can also blame the “American dream” of anything grand is great. It’s the only equation people want. Don’t worry though, with this economy, this house will be sold less than half the price it was built. Maybe you just got your revenge there.

  7. Amiel Sac

    “As for the design, well, in a world filled with bad designs, this is a pretty good one in my opinion.”

    Peter Clark, I totally agree with you. This house is just fine (compared to many i’ve seen that is). It’s just too (and really TOOOOO) big. And if I may say, it’s size makes it impossible to make living there homey. It’s much more like a government office, without the intricate figures and unique designs of course.

    Amiel
    Shisha Guy
    Hookah Set: Real Taste of Adventure

  8. Marie at biotin hair growth

    I really like the design but must admit the colour is terrible very drab. Money doesn’t buy taste!

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