Book Review: Contemporary Houses

This stunning visual feast with commentary delivered in four languages, presents a sampling of spectacularly designed houses from around the world. With broad swaths of concrete, glass and steel, most of the architecture runs toward the ultramodern whether the setting is in the middle of a big city or perched on a rural hillside. Natural lighting plays a huge role in the design of these living spaces. The “Isolated Houses” chapter features some fascinating play with optical illusions and the horizon. The House Equis located on the Peruvian coastal desert with its amazing hanging swimming pool is an excellent example of using this concept. Perhaps the most interesting if sometimes impractical homes are to be found in the “Unique Houses” chapter. Most, like the Gallery in Kiyosato, House by a Lake and Pixel House are concept designs that are unlikely to sprout up in your neighborhood but interesting to ponder. With its rounded, multistory oval shape, the Villa Man-bow is similar to an out-of-place round globe home located off the freeway between Kingman, AZ and Needles, CA.

With hundreds of color photographs showing the exterior and interior including furnishings and fittings and thumbprint floor plans, students of architecture and design will find plenty of inspiration here. If you are looking to design a unique home be certain to check out the homes pictured in this simply presented, comprehensive volume.

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