Ugly houses: a different point of view
Editor’s note: The letter writer asked that we reprint this column, which can be found at http://www.static.monolithic.com/pres/uglyhouses/index.html.
by David B. South
President of the Monolithic Dome Institute
As I was perusing the Monolithic Dome Builders Bulletin Board one day, I came across an interesting post regarding a presentation given by Dan Sutterfield, a Monolithic Dome Builder from Newburg, Mo.
The portion of the post I am referring to is as follows:
posted 08-14-2002 11:08 a.m.
… I’m going to paraphrase Dan Sutterfield in a presentation he gave Monday evening:
You know what I think is ugly?
1) a $100,000 stick-built home infested with termites.
2) a non-monolithic house scattered all-over the neighbors property.
3) a mother who has lost her two children in a house fire.
4) the sight of an ever increasing utility bill as rates go up and traditional houses keep wasting energy. — Chuck
This got me thinking. What makes a house beautiful? What makes it ugly? If it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is ugliness there, too? In other words, do we judge something, like a house, to be either beautiful or ugly simply by how it looks? Or are our judgments based on how the house makes us feel and what it does for us?
I think the latter is true.
To me, houses that are truly ugly are shelters that don’t really shelter.
I recently made up this list of ugly qualities a house might have. Read it over and see if you agree. Let me know if you have one or two you would like added.
– Give a false sense of security.
– Burn ” destroying lives, families and keepsakes.
– Blow away in tornadoes.
– Get flattened by earthquakes.
– Disappear during a hurricane.
– Float during a flood.
– Rot after a flood.
– Allow wind to blow through without any air control.
– Do not hold sounds out.
– Do not contain interior sounds.
– Are not soundproof.
– Harbor and provide food for mold.
– Can be eaten by termites and other pests.
– Lose their roof’s.
– Develop foundation and wall cracks when the ground shifts under them.
– Consume high amounts of energy.
– Require expensive repairs and maintenance.
– Have load bearing walls that limit remodeling.
– Have to have high ceilings added in at vaulted prices.
– Have a short lifetime often less than 50 years.
– Use up our forests.
– Deplete our fuel reserves.
– Cannot be recycled to be used as something else.
– Have an unnatural shape or artificial look.
– Make people feel boxed in hurricane.
– Are the homes of the past, not the future.