My friend Stan Runyan sent me this photograph the other day. Stan, an architect, collects photos of extravagant houses, what most people call McMansions. Wiki defines McMansion as “a pejorative term for a large new house which is judged as pretentious, tasteless, or badly designed for its neighborhood.” I’ve argued elsewhere that it is not so much size that is an issue as design—or rather, it’s lack. Look at this cabane. It has columns, but they’re too tall. It has gables, but too many of them. It has quoins, but they are too prominent. And the picture windows seem to have been lifted from a 1960s ranch house. The front is over-cooked; the side is under-done. Even the undersized “streetlight” at the driveway entrance is wrong.

One Response to McMansion

  • R. Reich says:

    Not to mention: A main entrance that appears to have NOTHING leading to it; compressors and other utility equipment in plain view with no apparent effort or thought to hide it; a basement foundation that meets the land awkwardly. Oh, and it’s PINK.

    And to think the psychological motivation behind building structures like these is often to impress family and friends or intimidate neighbors.

    They don’t. They just depress and anger us.

    Fire the architect.

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