Houses that favour simplicity of construction
January 28, 2009 9:41 PM Subscribe
Where can I find info on house construction that favours simplicity over clever extras? Think "LEGO".
posted by phoeniciansailor to home & garden (24 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I often think about the idea of a modern, long-lasting, reasonably-efficient and simple house. Something unlike anything I've seen here in the U.S. My hope is that somewhere out there is a school of thought that describes what I'm looking for, but I haven't found anything yet.
When I say I'm looking for a simple house, I mean that in a few ways. One way is in the sense of "modular", where the more LEGO-like the better. I'd love to see some system where one section of the structure -- such as a section of roof, wall or floor -- could be non-destructively decoupled from the rest, and possibly re-used later on.
Simple also means each element serving its purpose in a straightforward, non-overloaded fashion. So for example, the walls would be solid, without any of this crazy idea of hiding water-wires-pipes inside them. The walls should keep the roof up and the wind out, and that's pretty much it. Getting clever and tucking all this other stuff into the walls just makes things complicated down the line.
The house should also be "mend-able" by an average person. So if I damage the floor by dropping a toaster oven, or crash my moped into the front door, the damage shouldn't extend to other systems that then have to be opened up and also repaired. In a sense, the simplicity and modularity of the structure would isolate the pieces from each other.
I also mean "simple" in the sense of preferring to use no small/fragile/"band-aid"-type parts. For example, I'd like to find some way for the design of the house itself to almost entirely keep the rain and wind out (and the comfortable temperatures in). I'd gladly take a smaller house built with thick concrete walls and enormous eaves, if it meant that the house wasn't relying on goofy things like caulk and expanding foam and rubber-backed-siding to keep the elements out.
I understand that in some ways I'm almost describing primitive buildings like castles, tepees, igloos, etc., but I'm looking for something much more modern and efficient than those. I'd still like all the things you'd expect in a house (a nice kitchen, comfortable living room, etc.). I'd just prefer to trade many of the normal "extravagances" (like drywall or hidden water pipes) for something simpler, cleaner and more logical.
If you've ever seen or heard of any buildings or schools of thought like this, please contribute. Thank you very much.