the perfect model for the perfect eco-house?
Germaine Greer doesn't like the cutesy eco-houses being proposed for Britain's eco-villages, and thinks that the houses should be as different as the technologies and materials in them:
"If you are thinking eco-house, the Villa Savoye is a better model than a Devon fisherman's cottage. The new eco-houses should be proud to be different. So far, the difference is in hidden extra cost; if less energy was spent on faking sameness, the costs could be kept down. If you are building a house out of hemp and sheep's wool, it is a pointless extravagance to trick it out in stone."
"Houses grew uglier as the proportion of architects in the population and their share of the new-build budget grew. New houses are now universally horrible, and eco-houses are the most horrible of the lot. The builders of eco-houses accept as a given the basic shape and dropsical proportions of the two-storey suburban villa, with pitched roofs, end gables, front porch, picture windows, chimneys, and so forth. This may be because local planning authorities demand that they be "in keeping", even though there is little aesthetic merit in what they are expected to be in keeping with. There is usually nothing about the eco-house to signal that it is a new kind of energy-efficient machine for living. It could open and shut mechanically, like a greenhouse, but it doesn't. It could have photosensitive windows, but it won't. The slate in the roof may be recycled, but with so many solar panels, skylights, sun tunnels and windows in it and on it, there's no good reason for its being made of slate at all." ::Guardian
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