Pocket Neighborhoods Creating Small-Scale Community in a by Ross Chapin

By Ross Chapin

A 2012 Nautilus Silver Award Winner Pocket Neighborhoods: developing Small Scale group in a wide Scale international introduces an antidote to faceless, placeless sprawl — small scale neighborhoods the place humans can simply understand each other, the place empty nesters and unmarried owners with far-flung households can locate friendship or a aiding hand close by, and the place kids may have shirt-tail aunties and uncles simply past their entrance gate. The publication describes inspiring pocket neighborhoods via tales of the folk who stay there, in addition to the innovative planners, leading edge architects, pioneering builders, craftspeople and gardeners who helped create them. Sarah Susanka, writer of the easiest promoting now not So gigantic condo sequence, wrote the ahead to the booklet, putting pocket neighborhoods inside of context of the modern developments in housing and neighborhood. Ross starts the ebook through outlining the shifts within the scale of neighborhood and the yankee Dream over numerous generations, resulting in super-sized homes in a sea of improvement, then describes an answer to aid fix fit, livable groups. the 1st portion of the e-book seems to be at old precedents of pocket neighborhoods, from fifteenth century hofje almshouses within the Netherlands, to a nineteenth century Methodists Camp neighborhood on Martha’s winery, to early twentieth century backyard urban types and Southern California Cottage Courtyards. the second one part covers a variety of modern pocket neighborhoods, together with New city groups, cheap housing, houseboat groups, eco-neighborhoods, and Ross Chapin Architects’ personal pocket local examples. The 3rd part specializes in ‘cohousing’ groups, from Danish origins within the Sixties, to examples throughout the USA, Australia and New Zealand, together with a bankruptcy on senior cohousing. The fourth part appears to be like at retrofitting pocket neighborhoods inside present groups. during the booklet are sequence of “Design Keys” that spotlight the fundamental rules of pocket local making plans and layout, and brief tales approximately “Pocket local Pioneers” who blazed new trails. The publication is stuffed with wealthy photos, drawings, illustrations and location plans, and a assets part on the finish offers leads for the reader to discover the subject in extra aspect.

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But even nifty storage solutions and outlets in the right spots don’t sell a house. A small house must also have delight and charm to attract this kind of buyer. At the Pine Street Cottages, delight begins with the basic volume and shape of a space, and the way the space is filled with natural light. The original low, claustrophobic ceilings were taken out to create a vaulted space with exposed tierafters, painted all white to give a more spacious feel. A skylight floods the interior with light, brightening even the grayest of Seattle days.

Although good ideas often evolve into something even better, they can also morph into pale imitations or even the opposite of the original intent. As Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style home became the ubiquitous and mediocre Ranch style tract house, Radburn’s intimate and connected cul-de-sacs became dead-end lollipop cul-de-sacs of suburban America, and clearly defined superblocks became the basis for amorphous sprawl. Above top: Pedestrian paths extend from the end of the cul-de-sacs. Above bottom: Radburn was a revolu­ tionary plan with bad timing.

Passersby had an intriguing glimpse into the central garden, and parked cars were virtually unseen. The result created a broader variety of housing options within the wider community, which attracted a healthy diversity of ages, income levels, and household sizes. Above and facing page: Bowen Court (1910–1912) is the oldest court in Pasadena and one of the largest courts in southern California. It has 25 Craftsman bungalows arranged around a central garden courtyard. Bungalow courtyards proliferated throughout southern California during the early 1900s, offering affordable housing and a sense of community in a garden setting.

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