Comments on: Financing suburban architecture A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nullcorp Fri, 16 Mar 2012 15:47:34 +0000 There’s the publishing world of architecture – propagated by academics and starchitects – and then there’s the people with offices in almost every town doing the best they can. The former develop illustrious careers, building reputations instead of structures. The latter do the best they can, which is rarely enough.

Some architects (including me) want to be artists, and you don’t get into a show at MoMA by proposing moderate, affordable, pragmatic solutions to housing problems. And despite prevailing sterotypes, architects don’t really have that much control over the final outcome. It takes good taste and good money to create good buildings, and since the first two are in short supply these days, so is the third.

By: rjchicago Wed, 14 Mar 2012 20:46:09 +0000 Felix:
One other point – the interview with Mr. Bell in essence points out his socialization of housing and thereby negates one of the big principles that sets our nation apart – Property Rights!!! Somehow this fact is getting lost in these utopian schemes.

Just food for thought!

By: rjchicago Wed, 14 Mar 2012 19:27:53 +0000 Felix:
Please see my post in Architect Mag online.
Being an architect I am just amazed there were no practical solutions to the myasmatic real estate industry of today.
This is a multivariate problem with NO utopian solutions. And I remain saddened that my bretheren in architecture would publish such utter non-sense. Sheesh!!!

By: BrooksScarpa Wed, 14 Mar 2012 17:45:33 +0000 Over 20 years ago Angela Brooks was looking at this condition in a proposal in Southern California. The proposal was titled “Post Suburbia” and won a PA Award in 1992. Her proposal looks at how to add density to the tracts of single family homes by allowing new zoning and modest expansion of Single family homes to allow more dwelling units. You can see more of the proposal just posted on the Brooks + Scarpa Facebook page at: arpa-Architects/131136066935667

By: GRRR Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:40:47 +0000 I don’t know how you can say that the housing crisis was mostly a suburban thing. In downtown Portland all of the condo projects that were completed between 2007 and 2009 were subsequently turned into apartments or turned over to banks. Unsold units in bank possession were auctioned off or otherwise sold at a 40% discount. This reversed the trend of the prior decade of apartment buildings being converted into condos. Look around and the cranes are building new apartment buildings, not condos.

To the point of suburban architectural solutions to making housing affordable. You know that museum-curated shows are always ‘think big or don’t come’. When was the last time you saw a curated show present pragmatic proposals that could be installed in real life, the next day?

Real life solutions are already being played out in the burbs of Portland, and undoubtedly in hundreds of other burbs in the nation.

Orenco Station is supposed to be a New Urbanism project, although its growth has been driven by the big-box strip mall (a blend between the traditional strip mall and the single lot big box store).

A twist on Jane Jacobs romanticism connected to mass transit rail is discerned from stop after stop along the TriMet MAX, with tracts of townhomes and pocket parks within 1000′ of a MAX stop.

Not two weeks ago, the Portland Home Show unveiled the IKEA House. A collaboration between IKEA and a local company – Ideabox – that designs and builds prefab structures. It turns out, the solution to making housing affordable is to downsize the McMansion and make it practical inside.

In any case, the solution is either to expand suburbia outward or increase density — move out or move up.