Ugly Architecture.

A developing Australian Suburbia.

There seems to be a growing tendency here in Australia to believe that bigger is better. We drive around in enormous SUVs when a compact hatch would do the job, we buy massive blocks of land when it is hardly necessary, and we build massive houses when something a lot smaller would suffice. This desire for such large homes places more value on quantity than quality as we live in a society where we want more bang for our buck. This mentality encourages a sprawling suburbia (as the further away from the city you get, the cheaper the land is), it encourages people to employ the work of building companies who only have a limited selection of “designs”, and you end up having nearly the same house as your neighbour. This is my definition of ‘ugly’: mass produced, colossal houses that are void of individuality.

This is my house.

My mum and dad built it through one of Perth’s many home building groups. Like many other Australians’ they chose from one of the available designs and ‘customised’ it by choosing the fittings and paint colours. To me it’s nothing special. It doesn’t represent who my parents are as people, it’s just a house. It has a 3 car garage, 2 living rooms, a massive dining room, a huge kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 2 and a half bathrooms, and outdoor dining area, and a pool. Do we need 3 garages when we have ample street parking? With all of us having our own computers with Netflix etc do we need 2 TV rooms? And what’s wrong with us watching television together anyway? We have this massive dining room with a large table that seats 12 and we never use it. Only 3 of the 4 bedrooms are used as one is a ‘spare’. When asking my mum why we have all these things we don’t need her answer was “resale value”.

This notion of building things we don’t need because we one day might sell and it could bring in more revenue baffles me. Not only is half the space in our houses going unused but it is also costing more in cleaning and maintaining. Why don’t we stop wasting time and money on building big, unnecessary houses and build something that fits us and our families and that we actually love, not just like?

Here are a few houses within walking distance of mine.

Notice any similarities? All the same shape, same grey colour, same basic design, void of any personality or character. Our suburbs are fast turning into a Where’s Wally of housing, and with peoples’ current attitudes towards high density housing, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

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