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Narrow Houses
New Directions in Efficient Design
Avi Friedman

ISBN 9781568988733
Publication date 12/3/2010
7.5 x 11.25 inches (19.1 x 28.6 cm), Hardcover
240 pages, 280 color illustrations, 50 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 12; (650.0)

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Since the beginning of the housing boom of the 1950s, the size of the average North American house has steadily grown while the size of the average family has decreased. Today, a growing number of homebuyers seeking smaller, more efficient residential designs are rediscovering a centuries old housing prototype: the narrow house. Measuring twenty-five-feet wide or less, these "infill" or "skinny" houses, as they are often called, are on the rise in cities and suburbs around the world. The benefits of building small and narrow are numerous: greater land-use efficiency, less building material, fewer infrastructure costs, lower utility bills, and flexible layouts. This building type creates environmentally sensible houses that allow homeowners to live within their means. Narrow Houses presents a thorough overview of the practical considerations of designing a narrow-front home, including siting, floor arrangements, footprint, and interior and exterior finishing. The book documents twenty-eight innovative examples of narrow houses from around the world designed by today's foremost architects. Project data including floor plans and extensive interior and exterior photography demonstrate the inherent flexibility of this housing model and the many possibilities for adapting these homes to the constraints of site, climate, budget, family size, and other needs.

Avi Friedman is a world-renowned architect and director of the Affordable Homes Program at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has served on the National Housing Research Committee of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.


Editorial Reviews

"The Kate Mosses of residential design... Clearly six metres, the widest measure that defines narrow front, is all thats really needed."

"When it comes to houses less than 25 feet wide, facades are deceiving: Savvy architecture makes the interiors feel airy, even spacious."
"[Narrow Houses] is chock full of fabulous case studies of successfully small homes that tackle the troubles of being small in one very specific direction. Most homes in the book are modern by design, and each case study comes complete with information, full color photos and fun floor plans. The best part is the contrast between the photos and the floor plans. The photos, due in no small part to the brilliance of those who designed these homes, look full, large, open and invitingnot narrow or constricting, and its not really until you see the floor plans that you really get a sense of the limitations due to the narrowness. We also very much enjoyed the diverse range of locations these homes were set in: some in tiny lots in urban settings, others snuck into suburbs and even others in gorgeous natural settings where the urge to not have a large footprint was paramount. Youll love all the photos and information this book provideseven if you dont live in a narrow house!"
"It is not every day that you find a publication that functions equally well as a glossy-imaged coffee table book, a substantive addition to any architects library, and an informational resource to the wider public that speaks not only towhy efficient design is highly valuable and contextually imperative but also to how it can be successfully implemented in the twenty-first century. At its best, Avi Friedmans Narrow Houses: New Directions in Efficient Desig presents paradigmatic examples of beautifully and responsibly designed residences to demonstrate why those in high-income nations should reformulate sustainability not as sacrifice, but as a modern and creative appropriation of an increasingly valuable and contested asset: Space. "

Times Colonist:
"As urban planners, architects and developers confront urban sprawl, rising real estate and energy prices, and rapidly changing demographics, these narrow, old working-class Montreal houses offer a glimpse of what sustainable living will look like in the future... thin is in."

Daily Dose of Architecture:
"Together the writing and case studies offer valuable information and precedents for architects and clients aiming to build a narrow house either out of circumstance or responsibility."

eco-website Jetson Green:
"If you have a thin site, perhaps a copy would provide value in the form of getting ideas to maximize your lot....if youve thought about acquiring a tiny urban infill lot in the city to drive less and use more mass transportation, Narrow Houses will also give you ideas for creating the perfect skinny home."

"An exemplary line up of narrow houses... inspiring and timeless."

"This tall, narrow volume presents contemporary examples of houses designed to fit narrow spaces and fulfill environmental and sustainable planning requirements in modern urban environments. Divided into two parts, the work begins with twenty-eight case studies showcasing narrow houses from around the world. Each entry includes several color photographs, a floor plan and an introductory essay describing the location, architect and specifications of the house as well as a brief description of the project and any special features it includes. The second section includes four essays discussing design principles, footprints and volumes, interiors and the history of narrow houses. Of interest to design students and architects, the inclusion of numerous professional quality color photographs makes this volume appealing to a general audience with an interest in art and photography as well. Friedman is an architect and professor of architecture at McGill University."

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