Sandy Isenstadt examines how architects, interior designers, and landscape designers worked to enhance spatial perception in middle class houses visually. The desire for spaciousness reached its highest pitch where it was most lacking, in the small, single-family houses that came to be the cornerstone of middle class life in the nineteenth century. In direct conflict with actual dimensions, spaciousness was linked to a tension unique to the middle class - between spatial aspirations and financial limitations. Although rarely addressed in a sustained fashion by theorists and practitioners, and the inhabitants of houses themselves, Isenstadt argues that spaciousness was central to the development of modern American domestic architecture, with explicit strategies for perceiving space being pivotal to modern house design. Through professional endorsement, concern for visual space found its way into discussion of real estate and law.
"College-level students of architecture, design and social issues will find a fine study in The Modern American House, which considers how home designers worked to enhance spatial perception in middle-class houses." - The Bookwatch,/i> Diance C. Donovan, Midwest Book Review "The Modern American House approaches domestic architecture through a new lens...the book's themes are always intriguing, and the glimpses into previous cultural eras' beliefs are convincing because they are allowed to unfold slowly and in detail. With its emphasis on viewers' experience of spaciousness, the book fits into recent verancular architecture studies that examine inhabitation as a primary influence on buildings." - Elizabeth C. Cromley, Northeastern University "Isenstadt exploits a rich array of sources rarely consulted in studies of modern architecture: journals, magazines, popular books, and other widely disseminated publications. He demonstrates that the quest for spaciousness, set against the crowded, industrial city and reflecting American cultural ideals such as virtue, independence, solitude, and freedom, paralleled the emergence and growth of a large, single-family home owning middle class...The Modern American House complicates our received understanding of modern space...an indispensable resource for future scholars of modern architecture and others who seek a richer understanding of the American domestic environment." -Society of Architectural Historians
Number Of Pages: 342
Published: 9th June 2014
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Dimensions (cm): 25.3 x 17.7 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.82