To Karen, the super house has nothing to do with size; instead, it is one that has a strong connection with nature, that goes well beyond the everyday, and that, through the sensitivity of both architect and client, is imbued with mindfulness. From Australia to Ireland, Italy to Morocco, she's found such spiritually uplifting places.
Following interviews with many of the architects and owners, she discusses each house in detail; her informed and engaging text is matched by Richard Powers' striking photography. A must for anyone interested in architecture and design.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Excuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor. I like a bit of archi porn as much as the next person but this book trumps all those all those slick magazines.
The judiciously curated international selection definitely deserves the term Superhouse. What’s great about McCartney’s choice is that the houses are diverse in style, scale, materials and settings from urban to bush. Styled to show something of their owners taste, they are not over-dressed.
The photography too, by Richard Powers, has a restrained austerity instead of ramping up the glam factor, allowing the eye to rest on the good bones and details that make each house unique. The text has a breezy tone amplifying and complementing the images without resorting to design jargon and hyperbole. There’s plenty of context and comment about the challenges of the design brief and the collaborative process.
This is an inspiring, sumptuous, considered collection. The large format has an appropriately expansive and generous feel, as if you really were staring through a big window into these remarkable homes.
About the Author
Karen McCartney has a wealth of experience in the areas of design, art and architecture. From an Honours degree in the History of Art & English from University College London, and her first job on British magazine Art Monthly, Karen has written for British Elle Decoration and The World of Interiors. Here in Australia she edited Marie Claire Lifestyle and was founding editor of interiors magazine Inside Out where she held the position for 10 years.
During her time at News Corp Australia highlights include the successful relaunch of Country Style and the development and launch of the body&soul website. In 2012 she led News Corporation Australia's push for greater content relevant to women. Karen is now editorial director of online retailer Temple & Webster. She has published two successful architecture books on iconic Australian houses, and has curated an exhibition on the subject for Sydney Living Museums.