A plea to “stop demonising McMansions”

An Australian architecture lecturer argues we should “stop demonising McMansions”:

For quite a few years now, anybody who writes about these oversized single family homes has consistently demonised them as not just individually ugly, ill-designed and unsustainable, but as the building blocks of isolated suburbs devoid of a sense of community…

What all this McMansion bashing has in common is a set of assumptions that are ill-founded.

The first is the convenient lie that McMansions are the opposite of architect-crafted paragons of good design. This is easiest dealt with by visiting somewhere like Homeworld Kellyville, the display village west of Sydney…

The second anomaly is that a surprising proportion of available project home models are of notably good design. They make the most of small sites, with great connections between informal living areas and well sheltered outdoor al fresco rooms…

The third inconvenient truth?…He pointed out in 2006 that, of the major dwelling types, free standing suburban houses are the lowest energy consumers per occupant and appear to consume less water per occupant than contemporary apartments. That is data.

In the end, King argues that not all McMansions are bad. Yet, it is common practice to paint all McMansions with a broad brush. At the least, the term McMansion is effectively used to bludgeon certain kinds of homes, particularly big showy homes associated with suburban sprawl.

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