Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 01 May 2006

21st Century House

Jonathon Bell, 21st Century House, 
Laurence King

This is a look to see just what the 21st century might be offering in the way of new trends in houses. In his learned opening section, Jonathon Bell, casts his eye around at "star" houses made by architects to appeal to the architectural media (and not particularly made for actual people) and comes away unimpressed. He's also unimpressed by the standards of bureacratic taste-making, which in the UK have led to the prevalence of something called "planning-pastche".

The opening essay is followed by features on a number of houses which are accompanied by nice colour photos. These house are split into divisions: The iconic house, city house, practical house, and the future house. Most are interesting in one way or another and some might even be inspirational if you're thinking of building.

One aspect that is mentioned but isn't as underlined as it might be is the coming shift in energy suppliers. While electricity and gas might still come down the same lines, there is a feeling around that the people owning the cables and pipes aren't necessarily the people with the correct solutions.

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