Streets Of Your Town

I will be watching Tim Ross’s ‘Streets of Your Town’ tonight on ABC . . . . will you?

There is quite a lot of what Tim said in the first episode that I agree with when it comes to very large houses.

One thing that annoyed me was his ‘Fanboy’ attitude to ‘International Modernist Architecture’, including project homes, from the post war years.

Although there are some houses of this style that I admire; the style is not without its problems:

Problems With ‘International Modernist Architecture’

Although these homes may have been carefully designed at the time some of the problems are:modernist-1

  • Over large single glazed windows. The photo on the right shows one of a pair of modernist semi detached project homes with the original front facade. Such windows result in massive heat loss in winter and excessive heat gain and glare in the summer. The owner of the other house of the pair has obviously decided that the window size needed to be reduced. (see photo at bottom of post)
  • Tiny kitchens. These kitchens were designed  when wife’s didn’t work and could go shopping every day. They also don’t suit our modern lifestyle where the kitchen is the social centre of the house.
  • Minimal / low insulation levels. Together with the large windows this makes the houses hard to heat, and cool.
  • The common use of a flat roof. A recipe for future expense due to leaks.
  • Use of unproven materials. Many of these houses used large amounts of asbestos sheet.
  • Narrow corridors. I have found some corridors  claustrophobic, and unsuitable for anyone in a wheelchair, or even a baby in a pushchair
  • Cell like bedrooms. I’m not a fan of huge bedrooms but sometimes it is nice to get away from the open plan living areas.

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