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February 11, 2005

Cube House: A Modern Home that's Outside the Box

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Through new cars, television shows and home items from teapots and trash cans, modern design has slowly edged into the American consciousness. So why are our newly built homes generally faux-traditional? I'm talking about those brand new, particle board constructed suburban colonials and tutors. They're enormous houses with every modern amenity and design scheme--great rooms, church height ceilings, rows and rows of picture windows, skylights, solar lights and night lights, pulled together behind a façade pretending to be built decades before those standard issue whirpool spas inside had even been invented.

I say, let modern homes be modern homes. And let them look like modern homes. LaMiDesign architect Gregory La Vardera agrees and he's taken steps to bring the modern family into a truly modern living space they (in truly modern fashion) can customize to meet their needs. It's called the Cube House and it's the newest addition to a collection of modern homes La Vardera has created since 2002.

Cube House is part of the Stealth Group, and that means it's trying to hide its modern inside flair a bit, but stops far short of pretending to be a traditional center entrance colonial. The exterior walls on the Cube House are covered in "suburban camouflage" that creates visual segments that let it fit in with the neighbors and appease pesky review boards.

Aptly named, this house is a square building constructed around a central staircase with room for five bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining rooms, study, and whatever else your imagination and bank account can do. La Vardera's website shows plans for all of his designs and even some new builds in progress. Check it out and get out of the box and into a Cube.


 


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I suppose this day would come when modern would be represented by a loner architect who thought offering the least possible would be chic and fashionable. I guess we always need to test the waters to get a reaction. I remember when women in fashion shaved their heads and paraded around thinking we were excited to see them look like a weeble woble. Is it a man or is it a woman??
This home design is the same. Is it a home or is it a garage? Is it a garbage dump? Is this a building owned by the power authority that has a big pad lock on it at all times? Cmon now. I can draw a box and call it a home. As a matter of fact, i think i drew one just like this in 2nd grade. I want to see home designers and architects challenged a little. Dont you?
John Kenyon
www.contemporaryfurniture.com

Posted by: www.contemporaryfurniture.com | Apr 22, 2005 8:24:30 AM

John, I don't think of this as being chic or fashionable. In fact I see it as being very pragmatic. Catalog house plans are represent probably the worst level of product design in this country, and they also represent most of the houses built in this country. In that context I want to see better design injected into the marketplace through any venue available. The more people become aware of alternatives to the status quo, the more will come to value design and expect better. I accept your criticism although I think it misses the point.

And I am hardly in this as a loner. There are thousands of people at www.livemodern.com that are as eager as I am to see change come about in the housing market.

Posted by: Greg La Vardera | Apr 22, 2005 5:35:20 PM

I am full support of changing the housing market. I have been looking through hundreds of home designs in the last year simply to get ideas. I was hoping to get some ideas for the day when i am ready to design my own. Needless to say, i cannot. I prefer modern and contemporary homes, but I still cannot accept a home to be so void of character either. I cringe at the thought of thinking what this home will look like after 50 years when there is peeling paint, old deteriorated windows and runaway overgrown landscaping. You are 100% correct when I compared to these homes with fashion. They are not. I applaud you for your efforts to help people change the way they look at home designs. I hope to see some new designs from you in the future.

Posted by: www.contemporaryfurniture.com | Apr 23, 2005 1:51:31 PM

i have been looking for plans for a house such as the cube house. i have a lot 50 x 100 and would like to find plans to build a modern house. though i do not agree with the underliying message of the fountainhead it appears most designers still stick with copying houses from the past. Lets build houses that 100 years from now people can point to and sat turn of the century 2000

Posted by: andy tuke | Feb 16, 2006 2:19:24 AM

I am trying to find books to get ideas for building a modern house. I built a modern house in South Africa and long to build another. When I go to Barns and Nobles, Books a Million, etc., I find only a few books with modern house and fewer with floor plan ideas.

Posted by: Abdurrahman Sykes | Feb 26, 2006 11:40:06 AM

Greg, is there a finished Cube House in the PA, DE, NJ area that people can actually look at?

Posted by: Markus | May 4, 2006 1:10:23 PM

My 2 cents... Having looked @ home design catalogs for decades, my partner and I have pretty much given up on them as a source. 99% of their offerings are various versions of 'traditional', which reads as what one sees visiting any given urban fringe development. The remaining 1% come off as recycled 'mid-century modern' saltbox/rancher-style variants, the sort of spaces that were xeroxed endlessly in the neighborhoods of greater L.A., CA where I grew up in the '50's~'60's. I question how 'green' or 'energy-efficient' these tract homes claim to be, as I haven't seen any major changes in how they are constructed; this may be an unfair charge as I'm not a building inspector. But considering how fast these houses spring up, corners 'round off' pretty quickly when driven by an accountant's spreadsheet. I can't see much difference in the 'spec' or 'custom' homes going up here in metro Houston, where 'custom' means you get to pick your tile, carpet, and paint finishes, or Maybe move the powder room...
Enough rant 'n rave...We're going to do Modern. Perhaps not the Cube (Sorry, Greg...A tad too Miesian 'severe' for us on the exterior; we Do like the floorpan, but we're looking for Something 1500 ft.ish...SIP walls.....DIY-capable....), but we may end up talking to you in the long run.....
Keep the faith and your hopes up.

Posted by: Jerry Hajek | May 9, 2006 12:19:16 PM

forget the cubic house take a look at the Porch house that is a truly modern style house!! excelent design congratulations!

Posted by: Gustavo | Jun 23, 2006 1:44:58 PM

Whoops, sorry I have not checked back here in so long and missed several comments.

No finished Cube Houses yet. Many Design Prints are out, but no Construction Prints yet.

Jerry, your account of the slim pickings for plans is right on. Even if my stuff is not for you, no worries. Its not possible to hit the sweet spot for everybody that likes modern. I'm fine with that - we need more choices.

Glad you like the Porch House too.

Greg

Posted by: Greg La Vardera | Aug 7, 2006 1:26:25 PM

The best Modern Furniture Store in Los Angeles, CA. Here you can find everything for your home. We use the best wood , and import furniture from Italy and Spain.
http://www.22modern.com

Posted by: Anuta | Dec 20, 2006 2:52:20 PM

Im a realtor that specializes in modern architecture from Hollywood Hills to the beaches.
WWW.HOUSELUXE.COM

Posted by: RICHARD CABO | Apr 13, 2007 4:37:37 PM

It's all about cost right now. Building costs have gone to such astronomical levels that a cube or rectangle has to be used to cut down on cost. We'd all love to build the house of our dreams, but our dreams don't include a million dollar mortgage and every angle we add to the footprint adds ten thousand to the cost. I say, bring on the new designs and let evolution decide which are keepers.

Posted by: Nelson | May 16, 2007 2:38:11 PM

RICHARD CABO celebrity realtor of HOUSELUXE.COM put us in touch with a great architect in Venice Beach,California by the name of
STEVEN FERNANDEZ [email protected] he does some of the best modern architecture around and uses real terrazzo floors throughout some of his work, which is ideal flooring living near the ocean.

Posted by: jill schwartz | May 22, 2007 3:43:24 PM

I currently bought a tear down in the Venice area and am looking for a good architect in the local area,I love terazzo floors! its bullet proof!!!!! and has natural sexy finish when polished correctly.

Posted by: sasha kaiser | May 22, 2007 3:49:34 PM

When it came to designing the best modern home. Richard Cabo of Sotheby's realty,suggested www.bonurabuilding.com they are the very best when it comes to restoring your mid-century modern,or designing a new home of modern lines ,there architect C.J. is top notch!and Richard Cabo was the best realtor to close the deal on the property.www.houseluxe.com

Posted by: JAMES BINASKI | Jun 26, 2008 9:17:33 PM

WASSAU TILE co. has terrazzo every color very cheap and they are 1 inch thick ,amazing material and cheapest price

Posted by: CYRUS NIKO | Jun 26, 2008 9:23:26 PM

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