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  • Writer's pictureRicardo Escobar

McMansion US Architecture: Neostyle or Ill-Conceived Copycats

The idea of ​​a McMansion is usually accompanied by a series of aspects related to luxury and high social standing. In this sense, most mansions tend to have a large number of outbuildings, as well as garden areas, a large area for parking vehicles, a swimming pool and a series of associated elements (for example, sophisticated security systems or an area for leisure) and ornaments that are use for nothing else than high-end decor.

Is good to clarify that for a house to acquire the rank of McMansion, it is necessary, on the other hand, that it be located in a location away from the crowded urban space and in an enclave with some special charm (for example, near the sea, with mountain views or any another distinguishing feature). As is logical, this type of household is only available to a minority of the population with an income level above the average. In this sense, it is common for mansions to be inhabited by famous people, with great fortunes or who are part of a select minority.

If we have the paradigms and perception of a room a client could tell you a basic room could be 4 walls!, but in this case your clients dream mansion will be referenced from a politician Hamptons Mansion, or even a Kardashian Mansion, that's why this dream life-goal house is also al cliché, because this Neostyle home will be a strong go-to luxury stick in your client's head. Therefore as architects we have the ethic duty to give your client what they wants, but also to show them something better.

You can guide your client to be a copy cat and spend millions of dollars on a mansion that must people of their social circle might have, you could also just still some Pinterest floor plans, make a cool staircase, maybe spend 60k$ on a modern chandelier, and if you are going wild, increase the floors height and the roof pitch, and "Voilà" you will have one more copy paste McMansion in the US.

The client need has to do with the rational and the objective, while the desire is related to the emotional and the subjective. Thus, one can feel thirsty (the need for liquid) and solve it through a glass of water or feel a desire for juice or some cold soda.

It is very important to detect what truly motivates our client to carry out this work. What do you really want? It may be that there are hidden reasons that, because they were not detected in the analysis stage, are not reflected in the project, making it fail. For a client, it may be their dream home, so all they want is to be sure of their own roof at a cost. In this case, the client is motivated to solve a need by their paradigms. Others will want their home to show the world that they have succeeded in life. In this case, motivation is likely to go through the desires. There will be as many different reasons as there are customers. That is the challenge as professionals: achieve customer satisfaction but also, improve their perception of "The house: form and design".

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