On The Stands: Dwell on Suburbs with Attitude


The December/January Dwell notes that "in certain circles, "suburbia" truly is a dirty word." However they manage to find a number of homes that "turn the suburban paradigm on its head- from unlikely renovations to prefabricated additions.

They do not entirely succeed in making one believe that living in the suburbs can be sustainable, but they are convincing in making it look very pretty and modern.


In Vancouver, many of the bungalows and big trees that defined the inner suburbs are under threat from monster houses and clearcutting; the LeBlanc Residence by Peter Cardew shows that one can update a sixties sideplit into a modern, efficient home. The architect notes:

"When people talk about sustainability, they are usually referring to new architecture," says Cardew. "But when you figure that most of the energy that goes into a building comes from the one-time act of construction, you are already ahead when you can keep a building rather than demolish it." ::Dwell

Also online is an energy-efficient courtyard house in LA.

Still offline is a lovely converted church and some stunning Swedish prefabs by Smedshammar and Homberg. Buy it or watch for more online at ::Dwell