Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Save The Porches!

The house/office (they're one in the same now to me) of my dreams is mostly a porch. A series of wrap-around porches really. I grew up with no A/C and have yet to really embrace it, except on the most sweltering days, such as some we had this last summer in Atlanta. A/C makes my nose drip. One reason I doubt I could ever go back to working for The Man is for the summers I've wasted shivering in sweaters in front of space heaters, trapped in ugly office buildings chilled to some environmentally insane 68 degrees.

I'd prefer my dream porches overlooking a pristine intercoastal waterway, with most of 'em also screened-in for summertime use down South. I always wonder at the lack of screened porches in high-density subdivisions and other forms of geographically-clueless architecture. Where are the folk gonna sit on a nice southern, mosquito-ridden summer night and yap and drink amongst themselves when they get claustrophobic from too much A/C-related enclosure? Or what if there was a long power outage in the middle of a sweltering summer? Where you gonna sleep if not on a porch cot?

In related matters, I was drawn to this article about post-Katrina housing build-back projects in Biloxi because it seems that whoever designed this house (in this case Brett Zamora from Architecture for Humanity) didn't immediately check all the dwelling's Southerness at the door. This house just looks "right." It looks inherently Southern. The delighted homeowner thought so too.

Ms. Parker and her children were drawn to the “Blox,” a design by Brett Zamore that reminded them of their old neighborhood, lost to the storm. “It looked cozy and comfortable, like something that would fit right into Biloxi,” Ms. Parker said. “And the porches! I’m an outside person. I love the porches.”

Full story here.

photo borrowed from The New York Times

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