Category Archives: housing

Small, Affordable, and Beautiful

cnu-cottage.jpg This cottage, 523 sq. feet, designed by architect members of the Congress for the New Urbanism, is intended as replacement for housing lost to Katrina. “Katrina Cottages” are designed to be “affordable, quickly built small houses of enduring character.” The house pictured is a kernel — two wings can be added to make it 1300 sq. feet. A new cottage design for the Washington, D.C. area will provide low-cost housing that can blend seamlessly into neighborhoods of expensive, up-scale housing.

I’m no architect, and I know nothing of design, but I love the clean lines and classic look of this little house. Dropped in amongst a bunch of McMansions, it might be the best looking house in the neighborhood. It would for sure be the most sensible.

Now that exorbitant house prices in many cities put them beyond the means of middle and lower middle wage earners — so much for the inherent rationality of markets — maybe another, reality based, housing boom can begin. The new boom may be of houses that are affordable to buy and maintain, and combine functionality and style, which is to say, are beautiful.