Why McMansions are built around the world

A Swedish photographer set out to capture American-style McMansions around the globe:

Intrigued by the rising middle class in these fast-expanding economies, Adolfsson visited 44 model homes in eight different countries. All displayed strikingly similar characteristics and seemed to be taking their lead from architectural and structural ideas popularized across the U.S over the last century.

And why do McMansions have appeal around the globe?

Adolfsson said he believes people in emerging nations are drawn towards projects such as these because they believe they evoke an image of success, wealth and affluence.

“What I think we’re seeing is an upper middle class that has been growing fairly rapidly over the last two decades accompanying the economic expansion in these countries,” he said…

“What we are seeing is essentially the American suburban dream,” Adolfsson said. “This has been brought to people through movies, through soap operas, through magazines for decades. That’s really what people see as something desirable.”

If this is the case, then McMansions have a similar appeal in other countries as they do in the United States. They are often viewed as markers of success, showing the ability to purchase land and a large, modern home (and the needed car to travel from this home to other places).

Two difference in these global McMansions. Adolfsson notes that these neighborhoods of McMansions stand out as outliers compared to the surrounding area. Additionally, many of these McMansions are in gated communities. This may happen occasionally in the United States but it is not necessarily common.

Another thought: I don’t know that many Americans think of the global export of their housing styles.

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