Sunday, November 2, 2008
Suburban Home: Barcalounger
Located in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois is the home to an average American family. The dwelling is tucked away in the trees and can be found within the residential zone of Chicago. Similar styled houses line the street creating a repetition of modern inspired style homes. This neighborhood speaks of the style that bloomed after World War II, the idea of providing housing to the solders returning from over seas. A strong sense of repetition occurred between the dwellings but as a result of the need to housing completed quickly. This building consists of the simplest of forms, an overall simplistic exterior appearance. Gable roofs were common while the façade typically had a front door/entrance and a couple windows possibly containing some form of shutters. The interior floor plan/layout provided individual spaces to fit the different needs and functions ran within a home. Around this time, children were beginning to receive their own room. The kitchen was separated from the formal dining room that was separated from the den/living room, which on occasions was separated from a more formal living room. This idea of simplifying the layout of a dwelling works its way all the way back to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman styles. Their dwellings of these three styles, all had something in common, which was that the floor plan was simplified in general being formed around a central atrium or exterior garden. Although these suburban homes are not organized in this manner they have the essence of simplicity that its predecessors strove for. The Chicago suburban style homes also had local styles being applied to the world such as the art deco movement, which looked at how new sky scrapers were being constructed, and the emerging modernist style. Unfortunately these suburban homes were not given the time of the day to take on the newer popular styles. Instead these suburban homes were built in a hurry, were not constructed well, and had the same appearance as the other thirty or so houses on the same street. The only way to differentiate them was the exterior color and the minimal ornamentation if there was any at all. So even if the suburban homes that covered the country at one point were not the most well designed and were not unique they were and still are an important aspect to our country.
Similarity: The farm house had the similar idea of adding rooms to fit the function and need that was being desired, but in this situation the add-ons were done over a span of a hundred years. Suburban homes usually had rooms for each function and each person while also trying to keep it condensed.
Difference: The Museum of Modern Art and the building/home that the barcalounger is placed in are different not because one is a house and one a museum but because the idea of constructing them was completely different. The MOMA was constructed using new materials and the drive to create something innovative and new. The idea of constucting the Suburban style homes was to get something put up fast to house the many soldiers returning home. The design of the dwelling was of less important.