the new 100 houses

 the new 100 houses

Editor: Robyn Beaver 

Publisher: images publishing

Date Published: 2007

Pages: 348

Size: 280mm x 280mm

‘the new 100 houses’ is a fairly self explanatory title, as is the concept of the book. It showcases recently completed housing architecture, 100 projects in total.  Most houses are given four pages, some only two and the majority include floor plans supplied by the Architect with varying level of detail.

Every project has a small blurb describing the house itself, the clients requests, architectural challenges and materials. Though these blurbs are written with flair, they can be a little poncy at times. They help understand the context of the pictures and their location in the overall layout of the house, but are not necessary to enjoy the book.

Though European, Japanese and South American houses are featured, the majority of projects are American, Australian and New Zealander (even a home from Cessnock is featured). ‘the new 100 houses’ has a blend of modernist dwellings, mansions and beach escapes. Due to being based on current projects there is a bias towards box or shipping container shaped houses with metal, concrete and glass interiors. The most common theme amongst these houses is extreme expense, even in those that attempt to hide their costly nature with minimalistic interior design and sparse modern furniture (open decadence seems to have gone out of fashion). There are a few houses that go against this trend and are quite unique, including Casa Renacimiento (pg66), The French Castle (pg98) and the Hawn Residence (pg 136).

Surprisingly, the majority of  properties are situated on semi rural or forest landscapes, as opposed to the city/suburban backdrops of most modern architecture publications. There is a slight emphasis on escaping to nature and quite a few of the blurbs discuss ‘green’ aspects of the construction and energy choices (though the publishers do mention that aesthetics came first when selecting the homes to be included in the book). 

The main aspect of this book is incredibly professional architecture photography – as demonstrated by the attention grabbing cover that will surely lure customers in for a browse. Photography dominates the book. Each of the extremely large pages is splayed with focal points of the projects – bathrooms, interiors, lighting – presented by clean, crisp, heavily choreographed pictures. The white layout deliberately takes second place to the lush photography. The choice of a deep pink font in a more serious book is fantastic, without drawing too much attention away from the pictures. An index of Architects and their websites is included.

‘the new 100 houses’  is a great coffee table book for quickly dipping into new architectural and construction trends, but will be little use for an actual Architect other than a pretty ideas book, or perhaps reading material for their business reception area. However, it is an enjoyable browsing book for witnessing different concepts in action.

♥♥♥ – 3/5

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