Front Porches Everyone !
We love residential architecture and we love our neighborhoods, and the two work really well together when each supports the other. It works out best because when synchronous, architecture and neighborhoods together support “community”. In our new digital world, a world of “seemingly” endless interconnectedness, what we really find is a world of individual isolation. People often appear very open and public, but the reality is that the barriers are up all around them. We have a world of emails and texts instead of talk; a world of being at home on screen instead of being out and about; a world where we watch others and engage in downloaded movies instead of engaging ourselves, or even going to the video store to get our movie, a world where… well, this goes on and on. But to my pet peeve of the day – lots of new houses and remodels are being built in the city with a blank wall to the street, “objects” without so much as a stopping place before you enter the house, nary even a stoop, and where to say the least, there is no front porch from which to sit and interrelate to your neighbors, your neighborhood. Sure, sometimes these porches are catch-alls for junk, but they are an important part of the transition from the outside world to the inside, from the public realm to your private world, from your neighborhood, to your street, to your yard, to your home – this gradual transition to your home is simply an extension of what is already going on in the fabric of the city, and creates neighborliness and neighborhoods. So when you’re building, think front porches everone!