Monday, October 24, 2011

Suburbia, dissected

Jason Griffiths writes a short essay, "Colonial Vista," to the suburban Colonial-style house he found in a subdivision in Charlotte a style ubiquitous in these parts. It's part of his slide show on "Manifest Destiny: A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing" on the online forum, Places.

Griffiths is an assistant professor of architecture at the Design School at Arizona State University, hence the prominence of Arizona landscapes in his slide show. He was in Charlotte a few years back, he reports, to help review work at UNC Charlotte. (Want his book? Here's a link.)

The Colonial-style of housing, he notes, is perhaps more appropriate in North Carolina (which was, for a time, an actual colony) than other places, but, he points out the oddity that "the most abject facade of this building enjoys the most commanding view while the actual front elevation is stubbornly fixated by an abbreviated prospect of the road and the house opposite."


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