McMansions 101

Good design knows no style; whether you prefer modern, traditional, or anything in between, the quality of the design is a separate discussion entirely. As architects, we are trained to be able to create buildings and spaces that are contextual, balanced, and tailored to the constraints of the project.

This series of posts at Worst of McMansions seeks to educate and dissect typical spec homes that blanket much of the residential market. These homes tend to be created based on maximizing square-footage and providing the most amenity per space, then skinning those spaces in whatever "style" will achieve the highest value for the given market. No thought is given to basic architectural principles that can transform something from ugly to beautiful.

An excellent example of this, in my opinion, is Apple products. Apple tends to put a considerable weight on crafting well-designed products that both suit the needs of a large swath of different users, all the while maintaining a beautiful and usable end result. Many of their competitors, by comparison, may provide better hardware or specs for a lower price, but the end result is far less pleasing. Good design infuses a higher value into a product, often in so subtle a way that its users may not even realize it.

McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?

Photo courtesy of McMansionHell