Message - Re: A home with backbone. Nicholas Grimshaw reinvents the country house

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Posted by  Paul Malo on October 07, 2002 at 06:50:07:

In Reply to:  Re: A home with backbone. Nicholas Grimshaw reinvents the country house posted by Per Corell on October 07, 2002 at 05:43:42:

Informative comments, Per. I've never worked in Germany or on the continent, but your observations, and this house, suggest both the up and the down sides of an attitude. Compared to the usual US practice, this sort of expenditure for costly materials and finishes on a micro cottage seems excessive. Mies (who was German, of course) did it here famously for Dr. Farnsworth, who was unhappy about it. More typically, Americans get over-sized, cheaply built houses--obscenely oversized, in fact.

There's a generic difference between the New and Old Worlds, of course, since we still retain the frontier mystique, supposing that there is more space and more resouces awaiting beyond the horizon. Bigger is better here, for most people. I've even known Americans who tried to ship thier big automobiles over to Europe so as to travel in accustomed style , only to find they couldn't navigate the tiny urban quarters.

To us, it seems odd to see such a costly house on what is apparently a tiny sliver of a suburban lot. But I recall visiting a home on the hill above Stuttgart that similarly was superbly crafted of the finest material, but seemed cramped onto a tiny plot on a crowded suburban lane. Fortunately it had a view over the city, but was more like an urban apartment in the trees than a country villa.

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