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Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers

Friendly Houses: By Peter Forbes

Friendly Houses: By Peter Forbes

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In the early 1980's with the customary dearth of commissions for a young architectural practice I had designed a series of prototypical houses. These were specifically affordable houses, houses that could be built inexpensively, but without the onus attached to "cheap housing." Fundamental to the design was the notion that these dwellings should have resonance with what is deeply recognized in all peoples as "house." If you ask a child to draw a picture of a house he will draw the same shape no matter what sort of dwelling he lives in. It does not matter if he lives in a city apartment or a mobile home the pictogram will be of a square building with a pitched roof, sometimes with a chimney and a curl of smoke ascending to a sky with a smiling sun. That is "house" and I believe that the farther the designer strays from that subconscious prototype the less it becomes house. On that premise I designed a series of houses based on a 20 foot by 40 plan, a dimension we had discovered was the most practical in terms of building. This was America and all building materials there come in units of four feet, divisions or multiples of that dimension, so using that module automatically induced a cost savings. We had also discovered that dimension gave room sizes that were usable and practical. To that we added a 45 pitched roof, a diagonal cut of a piece of plywood with no waste, again a practical and cost saving gesture. At that time my friends Massimo and Lella Vignelli came to visit me in my studio in Boston, Massachusetts. Always my most trusted critics and mentors I showed them the collection of designs. Massimo became very excited about them and immediately seized upon the accessibility of the design to a user. These were in his words "friendly houses" - houses that welcomed and celebrated the idea of "house" without compromising their modernity. Massimo noted that the concept, indeed, the word "friendly" as applied to an object was unique to the English language and that these houses with their simple geometry and pitched roofs embodied the idea. He christened them "Friendly Houses" and proposed a book, a portfolio of the designs and, being Massimo Vignelli world-class designer, he immediately designed the book.

Author: Peter Forbes
Publisher: Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers
Published: 09/01/2021
Pages: 1
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.90lbs
Size: 8.80h x 8.40w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9781946226495
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