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New Eichler style prototypes?

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lga
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Joined: Feb 16 2004

Dear Eichler enthusiasts,

We are researching the feasibility of creating new Eichler-style prototypes for the new century if there is demand out there to justify this.

Is there any interest in continuing the principles developed in the Eichler homes into new versions in the future?

Please post your comments if you have any regarding this possibility.

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Joined: Dec 26 2003

I think there is a def some interest in modern homes, however it will be hard to keep them one story considering the lot sizes of new homes now,
I think there is definetely a market for them however.

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

I mean what are the big corp homebuilder thinking anyway-seem like they are all building overscaled faux Tuscan and Craftsman Mc Mansion-and if you notice they are adding useless sitting rooms retreats dens huge master baths just to make the houses bigger but not more functional. On the positive side:
Palm Springs Modern Homes (try a google search for the URL) is doing some of this as well as the Tropicana Project in Palm Springs (which by the way was overpriced but sold out pretty fast). I'd be ready for a Eichleresque home as a one story of modest size redone to the requirements of today and not outrageously priced or sized.
Sign me up
The market is there where are the builders.
(If ya think about it-the Fort Thunderbird and the Volkswagen Beetle are back is that a hopeful sign?)

Wishing for modern home.

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

the FORD Thunderbird.

Wishing for modern home.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

lga:

are you a potential seller of buyer of such homes?

If you are a buyer, send me an email.

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Joined: Feb 2 2004

The issue in the Bay Area is the high lot cost that will make single story homes less attractive to the mainstream mainly looking for max sqf and number of rooms. Is there a market for Eichler/Neutra style homes - sure. There is probably one in the higher end, +$4M class, and also likely a small market for sub $1M homes for mod enthusiasts. The question is if it can be made economically viable by a builder.

I believe there are 2-story modern alternatives, "Eichler cousins", that would fit the bill. Combining low cost with good design. I have seen such newly-built homes in Scandinavia, but this is also where modern design is much more a way of life (no tuscans there...).

With so many talented architects around it is a mystery that good design is so limited, and only available for a few. This is hardly what they learn at university, and US is all about choice, isn't it?

Any architects out here who'd like to comment on this simplified rambling..?

Silvia

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

Seems at least in Calif. you can go a max width now of I think 15'-6" which you can get a nice modular home with that dimension.
One them has to be groundbreaking enough to build em.

Wishing for modern home.

lga
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Joined: Feb 16 2004

lga is an architectural firm exploring new prototype design.
To answer some of your comments:

First, we are considering designing two models at this time. One would be a smaller affordable version and one would be a luxury version.

Second our intent is to create designs that can be built across the nation in various climates.

Third, we plan to stay with the one story solution at this time.

If you look at the new homes being built across the nation you may have noticed that the master bedroom is being located on the first floor in increasing numbers. As the home prices increase the affordability of a good new post starter home is shifting further into the middle age group. The usability of the second floor in a home for this age group is declining as this age group reaches retirement while retirement in your own home is gaining popularity. Therefore we may want to consider elevators or single level floor plans in the future. Also as certain regional areas are becoming fully built-up with two story homes on small lots urban planning problems are developing throwing some undesirable questions into the direction this concept is taking. Some regional areas are almost reaching a revolt status against this high density-planning concept. This planning concept may be reevaluated and we may be building on larger lots again in certain parts of the country.

It is our belief that an urban area should give residents a choice in lifestyle including high density/high rise, high density two story, medium density mixed one or two story, and low density one or two story. We are focusing on the last two categories for which there is a tremendous growing market with very little attention at this time.

The lifestyle that characterized the Eichler designs originally is starting to become a desirable and reactionary alternative to the two-story high-density concept.

Some ideas for the new prototypes are:
1. Correct all insulation and glazing issues to modern code standards
2. Correct all seismic issues to modern code standards
3. Correct all heating/cooling issues to modern code standards
4. Incorporate power retractable atrium glazing system
5. Expand kitchen/family room spaces and relationship
6. Increase overall storage
7. Incorporate high quality slider doors and french doors
8. Establish ten-foot minimum ceiling height as starting point for sloped ceilings.
9. Introduce new media room
10. Upgrade bathroom layouts/locations
11. Improve exterior facade appearance
12. Increase visual connectivity to street level functions
13. Improve interior room-to-room circulation

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Joined: Mar 25 2003

My wife and moved out of our San Jose Eichler about a year ago and have been trying to find a house we like in the Chicago area ever since. I can tell you that we'd jump at a chance to own something well designed since every builder seems to be ignoring our wad o' cash. (Who said the free market is efficient?)

I've looked into a number of alternatives from custom building to prefab to component construction and would love to chat with you about your ideas.

Email me.

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Joined: Mar 23 2011

Modern is modern again. Much commercial architecture now embraces it. The media is hooked on it. Notice that 75% of advertising now features some mid-century icon, whether it's a Womb Chair, George Nelson clock, or an Eichler home.

The problem is marketing. The typical person buys a house as if they're buying a computer. They tick off a check list, which probably includes vaulted ceilings, a grand staircase, and granite countertops. These are marketing trends that will become dated in short order. People are convinced by marketing and the bandwagon that these things are important. Additionally, people incorrectly believe that nostalgic icons will give them a sense of “home.” Picket fences and faux colonial facades are unnecessary propaganda devices that play on the emotions of the architectually uneducated. Now, we find ourselves in an architectural era that is the equivalent of the fins and excess chrome on cars in the late 1950's. Grand entry ways and high ceilings are supposed to impress visitors, but they do nothing to enhance the day to day lives of the occupants.

One always hates having someone say “ought” or “should” when it comes to beauty. But greater happiness can result if people are taught about aesthetics (or if not taught, at least persuaded). A truly well designed house, in the Wrightean sense, is not only more practical, but also more pleasant, and that leads to better mental health and happiness. People can be trained to see that a house is both a machine and a nest for humans. Humans are organic beings and they should not be alienated from their environment by living in white plaster boxes with little rectangular holes cut in the sides for light. On the other hand, humans are machine builders. It is part of our nature. Home building technology largely focuses on making construction more efficient with little thought about the organic nature of the human being. The question that must be answered is, “What sort of structure is the most pleasant and natural dwelling for the species known as human?”

Those of us who post on this site generally think that Eichler is one of the builders that got it right (not that there’s no room for impovement). Using the best architects and the best modern construction techniques brought together the components mentioned above. For instence, post and beam construction allows for glass walls that bring the outside in. We have mahogany panelling that brings a natural warmth and depth to each room. As I sit in my study, I look into the atrium, with all its plants, through the living room, and out into the back yard. No other house gives such a sense of space and freedom with 1,700 square feet. The bottom line: That makes me happy.

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Joined: Feb 29 2004

We have built three such 21st century Eichlers and have two under construction including an all steel proptype ( Think X-100) addition. See "This Old House" July 2002. The problem here is that they are extremely design time intensive. Eichler was only able to provide "design" in market rate housing because he could amortize the design cost through mass production.

coolspace

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

They are not so great-yeah they are scratch resistant but they also don't recommend that you cut on them 'cause it's the SEALER that they put on the countertops that gets ruined. I'd say go with Silestone or Caesarstone, you can cut on those with out ruining a sealer 'cause they don't need a sealer, if you want a solid surface countertop.

Wishing for modern home.

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Joined: Aug 30 2003

Hey "coolspace", do you have any photos of the houses you describe online? I am particularly interested in the steel house mentioned.

Thanks,
Barry

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

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