Saturday, April 7, 2012

Small Luxurious Eco-Houses

We live in an area of the United States, Fairfield County, constituted of 23 communities of around 20.000 inhabitants, where the median home income exceeds $250.000 a year, and the median home value nears $900.000, this often on parcels of land legislated to a minimum of 2 acres.

The trend over the last decade has been to tear down or transform existing 3 or 4 bedroom, 2 car garage dwellings, into vast, mansion-like (often nicknamed McMansions) 6 to 8 room, 4 car garage estates, seldom housing more than a two children family unit.

This would seem preposterous to anyone outside our country, even in the most affluent of regions. Nowhere on Earth is there such a concentration of inconspicuous wealth, yet, little is made of it, despite growing accusations and concerns that US citizens consume much more than their fair share of resources.

As population grows, gap between rich and poor widens, scarce comes access to land offering such an over copious amount of fresh river, spring and well water, there needs to grow a novel approach to residences meeting the needs of more than simply those who can afford such excesses, without disturbing the current illusion of security provided by the isolation of individual properties.

Changes in planning and zoning requirements, as well as the arbitrary, too often subjective or fickle will of architectural and environmental review boards, must now allow for much more creative uses of space which in no way will deface the exclusive character of neighborhood and place.

Truth be told, it's been a long time coming since builders and contractors in the region have received the type of media accolades for design excellence bestowed on creative projects elsewhere or abroad. Isn't time to exceed expectations and live up to the liberal, progressive reputation no longer warranted by current standards?

To this end, the Aquarium Steampunk Reading Room has acquired and accumulated over the many years leading to the opening of its present day physical location a substantial collection of green design and architectural books targeted at construction professionals ready, wishing and willing to expand the horizons of their client base, by educating themselves further, as to the extend of innovation now practiced outside the confines of neighboring towns which have sadly settled into a sense of heritage complacency, laziness and boredom reflecting the type of job description mirrored by the executive lifestyles of its upscale residents.

Among the many titles on the Aquarium shelves is for example, Small ECO Houses, a relatively recent title from Universe, a division of the famed and illustrious publishing house Rizzoli lauding with text and photographs the work of firms now able to erect jewels of living quarters seldom exceeding 1000 square feet, in perfect harmony with its direct environment, frequently raised on stilts so as not to interfere with the coming and going of wildlife.

This blending of human and natural cohabitation, maximizing available space and increasing the concentration of occupants, relieves the land and waterways from stress generally associated with suburban development, while providing greater intensity of use, enabling the continued growth of population density without the prospect of decreased property values.

To experience the green architectural book collection at the Aquarium located on 10 Knight street in Norwalk, please call for an appointment.