To showcase the latest design trends and materials, each year the National Association of Home Builders coordinates with the International Builders Show to construct a prototypical “New American Home” in the host city. This year’s, the 2022 New American Home, is in Orange County, Florida. It’s a 4,646-square-foot three-bedroom with some unusual features, some of them a direct response to the times we live in.
First off, let’s have a look at the floorplan:
As you can see, the architects opted to take a chunk out of the footprint to provide a courtyard/pool. This is a concession to the “blending the indoors and outdoors” thing that’s all the rage these days.
While the pool itself is diminutive, really a dipping pool more than anything…
…I do like how the courtyard makes it possible to see between the levels in a way that you cannot with a conventional home. It also provides a lot of window space that doesn’t look directly out at the neighbors.
As for the design responding to the times we live in, the front porch has this slatted-in area at left, which is described as a secure parcel delivery nook:
I’m not sure how secure it actually is—there’s no details provided—so maybe it’s just a visual screen meant to block the vision of porch pirates? Either way, the fact that the architect included it shows how far we are from the days of people sitting on a front porch and waving to passersby.
On the floorplan of the 2nd floor, you might’ve spotted an area referred to as the “Tech Space.” That’s this area in the photo below, and it’s meant to be used as a work-from-home or learning-from-home nook. You’ll note that the layout of the house makes it impossible for any Zoom surprises to pop up behind you; there are no bathroom or bedrooms within view, and there are staircases at both ends of the house, so no one needs to walk behind you if you’re on a call.
As for this gigantic turret on the third floor…
…that houses the second kitchen, which serves the roof terrace, an outdoor entertaining space.
Roller gates can close off the dining area, either against prying eyes or rain, though I can’t fathom why they’d make the roof flat.
I do wonder if this rooftop terrace thing will become a trend. On a lot like this there’s no space for a backyard deck, and having an outdoor entertaining space that’s elevated does confer a fortress-like feeling of privileged privacy.
Something I found unusual about the design of this house is apparently a function of this style of neighborhood: The garage is “alley-fed,” meaning it’s at the back of the house, seen here at right:
Meanwhile the front door is at the opposite end of the house, seen below. Also note the circuitous, Las-Vegas-like route you’d have to take to walk out of the front door and onto the sidewalk running alongside the street. This is clearly not meant to be a walkable neighborhood.
As for the interior, I like the open floorplan…
…but certain features, like this terraced wall below, really bug me. Am I the only one who lives in a high-dust environment, where I can see myself having to clean this thing off all of the time?
The shower in the master bath is pretty nuts, like it was sized to wash a horse:
Also looks like it’s got his-and-her digital controls:
That weird embedded-strip-lights thing in the shower wall carries over to at least one of the bedrooms:
I won’t dwell on the interiors too much, primarily because I dislike the décor they’ve gone with. Also, looking at still shots doesn’t really give you a good sense of the interior space. For that, check out the video below.
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