Wednesday, March 4, 2009

--Why The Waters Matters

The Waters, in a suburb of Montgomery, Alabama, is an essential case study for the assumptions of New Regionalist Architecture. Visit the website to find out why.

(1) Standardized, controlled architecture is the norm--and buyers are responding positively. A buyer has extensive limitations on how self-expressive he or she can be, and yet a phone call to building office reveals that The Waters is one of the only developments in Montgomery where construction is ongoing. The conventional wisdom that buyers avoid strong architectural review boards is trumped by the hard evidence.

(2) All houses at the waters have traditional foundations and metal roofing. These methods are no longer standard in home construction, yet buyers are responding positively. Where else are traditional foundations and metal roofs standard in a development? Perhaps a few isolated houses in the country where individuals own land and build to suit their own tastes--but an entire development? And the houses are selling like hotcakes!

(2) The architectural style of the development is romantic and fantastic. There has never in history been a city or town where the elements found in this development naturally and organically arose to form a community like the one at The Waters. Beach-style cottages, a New-England style church, and a New Orleans-style town square are all beloved in their unique settings; the Waters has juxtaposed these elements and in so doing created the most marketable community in central Alabama.

Thus, from The Waters we learn three points: People will consent to distinctive architectural standards, they will accept somewhat unusual building techniques, and they will look favorably upon romanticized environments. The Waters proves that a development with a distinctive sense of place can more than succeed.

Now, imagine if romance were not the only appeal, but also an almost non-existent energy bill? The lots couldn't be sold quickly enough, I assure you. New Regionalist Architecture will make that possible.

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