Back issue for magazine - Architectural Review 2011/8 (1374)

Architectural Review 2011/8 (1374) What makes a truly memorable house? We all have seductive ideas about our dream home, but few people ever manage to make it a reality. Fetishised in lifestyle magazines and increasingly vacuous television makeover programmes, the trophy house is a source of apparently unquenchable public fascination. Yet in some ways the intensity of such engagement is understandable, as the house is so powerfully and intimately rooted in human experience. Everyone needs a home. This issue is devoted to the winning entries for the annual AR House Award. For their owners, emboldened not to settle for an off-the-peg solution, they are all dream homes, but for their architects, itís a chance to address more pressing issues, such as how energy and resources are deployed, how to harness the potential of technology, how to respond sensitively to context and how to stretch the limits of whatís possible. Many of the winners are from Japan, where the pressures of building on insanely tiny and congested urban sites seems to ignite an especially febrile creativity. In the history of modern architecture, the house has been a notably galvanising and experimental force, pioneering different and better ways of doing things. And in the search for new paradigms to confront the current global challenges of ecological and economic crises, itís clear that the house still has an important part to play, rediscovering this historic role and setting new agendas. The projects shown here are in that vanguard.

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