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    ArchWeek Residential No. 133
    Dear Designers, Builders, and Dwellers,

    The good news of a nice blip downward in the unemployment rate is balanced, for those of us in design and building, by the news of continued reductions in construction spending. The single-family market still looks more like a double-dip sacking than any kind of forward market movement.

    Rank on rank of additional foreclosed houses are waiting on the sidelines. And meanwhile, the federal team - whose new buyer credit helped housing last year - seems to have left the economic stadium altogether, enmeshed in partisan games of a different league.

    For those of us in design and building, prospering in an era of continuing scarcity, with less cushion for false moves, calls for better strategic thinking. As we look toward that farther horizon, we recently came across a thoughtful and important study by Dowell Myers and SungHo Ryu at USC.

    This paper from 2007 was not written about the short-term housing price bubble that was bursting right about then. It's about a much bigger, deeper, longer-lasting demographic effect:

    Aging Baby Boomers and the Generational Housing Bubble: Foresight and Mitigation of an Epic Transition
    Dowell Myers and SungHo Ryu
    Journal of the American Planning Association


    "The baby boom generation was born over a period of 18 years, and once its sell-off commences, it could dominate the housing market for up to two decades. Planners could lessen the negative consequences of the deflating generational housing bubble by anticipating these long-term trends and initiating pre-emptive programs to retain elderly homeowners, attract young home buyers, and closely monitor additions to the housing inventory to forestall overbuilding.

    "Planners must adjust their thinking for a new era that reverses many longstanding assumptions. Though planners in many urban areas have been struggling against gentrification, they may now need to stave off urban decline. Whereas decline once occurred in the central city, it may now be concentrated in suburbs with surpluses of large-lot single-family housing. Whereas residential development once focused on single-family homes, many states may swing toward denser developments clustered near amenities."

    We're not sure about the specific relationship between the bursting of the short-term price bubble, and the deflation of the long-term baby-boom housing-demand bubble.

    But we suspect that the two will be merged into one. It seems fairly likely that the slow recovery of the single-family housing market from the short-term price bubble will blend into the falloff of the longer-term demand bubble.

    At the same time, the desires and needs of an aging U.S. population will be shifting toward living closer in, closer to services, and closer together, yet still with pleasing surroundings.

    With all that in mind, we're especially pleased to share our coverage of the multifamily projects in the 2011 cycle of the AIA housing awards.

    And don't worry - if you've had about all the strategic thinking you can take for a while, the next ArchitectureWeek will be all about eight new outstanding single-family beauties.

    Discuss online


    by ArchitectureWeek

    The condominium building at 1111 East Pike Street in Seattle offers a lively contribution to an urban environment. Located in a dense, walkable, transit-served neighborhood that was formerly Seattle's "auto row," the six-story building features panelized siding in four colors inspired by classic cars of the 1950s. With condo owners given a choice of color for the unit exteriors, those four colors combine to form a variegated patchwork.  >>>


    Residential Design and Building News

    Beazer Homes Buying Phoenix REO for Rental Conversion - HousingWire, 2011.0404

    Rate of Las Vegas Homes Bought with Mortgage Hits 17-Year Low - Las Vegas Sun, 2011.0404

    'Dual System': Minorities Lose Financial Ground, Critics Say - USA Today, 2011.0404

    BofA Was Pressed by SEC for Disclosures on Reserves for Mortgage Buybacks - Bloomberg, 2011.0404

    Builders, Fire Officials Spar over Sprinkler Rule - Miami Herald, 2011.0403

    Economy Based on Real Estate Is Bust - Seattle Times, 2011.0402

    Design Well within Reach - New York Times, 2011.0402

    Can China Turn Affordable Housing into an Attractive Investment Proposition? - China Economic Review, 2011.0401

    Why New Homes Don't Sell - MarketWatch, 2011.0401

    Housing Will Remain a Government Program - International Business Times, 2011.0401

    Why Buy? You Can Spend Tons Renting - New York Times, 2011.0401

    Salford Housing Competition Images Unveiled - BD (UK), 2011.0401

    Houses at Sagaponac: Reviving Field of Progressive Homes - Sag Harbor Express, 2011.0401

    Shakira Helps Rebuild Haiti School - New York Times, 2011.0331

    AIA Housing Awards: Multifamily - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0330

    Christchurch Will Be 'World's Most Quake-Safe City' - New Zealand Herald, 2011.0329

    Are Heritage Buildings Earthquake-Proof? - Inquirer, 2011.0328

    'Megamansion' Upsets LA Neighborhood - Columbia Daily Tribune, 2011.0326

    Fire Resistance Claims Are False, Warns Wrightstyle - Building Products Magazine, 2011.0322

    Russian Company Acquires Georgia-Based Tolleson Lumber - Maze Lumber, 2011.0315


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    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    What residential style of architecture was initially made popular by English architect Richard Norman Shaw and ultimately carried to maturity by McKim, Mead, and White?

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    Imagine you are renovating a building and your structural engineer wants to add new elements to deal with the possibility of drift. He says that, among other things, drift can cause nonstructural damage to piping and finishes. Drift refers to which of the following:

    A. Movement or sliding of the building at the framing-to-foundation connection.

    B. Horizontal deflection, or displacement of one floor level in relation to the floor levels above or below.

    C. A condition sometimes encountered at oceanfront properties where soft sandy soils can become saturated and cause abrupt and uneven settling.




    Classic Home 015Western bungalow by George W. Repp
    "This plan, being rectangular in shape with one bearing partition through the middle, is very simple in construction, so that the house can be built for less than a smaller one that has a number of angles and breaks in its outline."



    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Painted horizontal-lattice screened porch on shingle-clad house (WA-055)


    Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
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    Ten years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
       Interior Design - Identity in Lebanon, by Victor A. Khoueiry
       Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect, by Sally Byrne Woodbridge

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