20090530

Garages


This will come off as rude to many home owners, but I'll say it anyway. It saddens me a little to see how much of new single family home construction is dominated by garages. It surprises me too, as I didn't expect it in Switzerland. At first glance, this could almost be a shot from an American subdivision, don't you think?

20090527

16 comments:

Joan Elizabeth said...

Yes looks very American, Australian and every other place bland and modern in this world.

Baron's Life said...

Not really, at least in America and Canada, our Garages look nice...this is ugly..it might as well have been a large chicken coop...or a shed...
BTW, nice shot and good composition

Abe Lincoln said...

The really sad and stupid part is that they stick the garage out front like a sacrificial lamb. I liked it best when houses here all had front porches to sit on and rock and talk with neighbors out for an evening walk.

wellingtonia said...

Hi

It's the house of the gardener, in front of the castle !
To protect the castle it need's a devensive line !
The salesman has to ring in front of the garage, controlled by a videosystem.
And in the garage there is the porche (of the owner).
With the remote control the garagedoor opens and the shoppingtour can start.
The only problem if it rains - they need a roof between the garage and the house.
At the next investment - the roof made of glass will be realised.

wellingtonia

wellingtonia

Wulf said...

In North America these houses with garages that project in front are called "snout houses". Portland, Oregon tried to ban them a few years ago, but I don't know if they succeeded. As for the ugliness (no greater in Villigen than here in Canada), it's as if house builders assume people will not see the garage somehow, so it doesn't need to look as good as (or a part of) the house proper.

Z said...

Joan: Modern doesn't have to be bland, just want to say that.

Baron: Interesting viewpoint. I lived in various parts of the US for over a decade and I encountered plenty of unattractive construction. It's true that some of them have fake brick and stone facades and shutters, but they were just that: fake. Like this one on this Wiki page, do you think the shutters work, and that actual load-bearing stone blocks were used in the construction? Don't get me wrong, I can rant about a lot of things I see here as well. It's my party... hehe!

Incidentally, ignoring the appearance of the objects, what you describe as chicken coops or sheds in this photo are most likely made of masonry or concrete. (Not very ecological given the huge footprint of concrete, a shed would probably be a better choice.)

Abe: I would have to agree with you. On the other hand, I'm not always very social and I don't know that I would want to say hello and chit chat with all the neighbors who walked by. I guess then I could just stay inside and peek out from behind the strategic lace curtains.

Wellingtonia: You funny one, you! You know, they do have covered connection to the houses... Already realized.

Z said...

Wulf: Welcome to Villigen! Checked out your blog and will return to see what you're up to. Good luck on the transition to becoming forest folk. A yurt in Canada? More power (all renewable, of course) to you!

Thanks for the nomenclature help. Very appropriate, this "snout" appellation. I wish they'd ban them here. There are these commissions to protect the 'village look' but the Villigen people seem to be very laid back. Which is not a bad thing, but when I'm czar...

I think the issue is that the homeowners don't get to see the garage but for a few times daily and they don't really care. Add to that the cost savings in just plopping down a modular concrete garage (like the ones sold here Fertiggarage) and voilà!

Andreas said...

The detached garages, the huge driveway, this is all an enormous waste of space and we're not in abundance of that in Switzerland.

A Lady's Life said...

Well I personally like them and could use one myself.
Of course I can see why people in small countries would complain but then I don't think I could live in a small spaces. I am used to space and never have enough. I guess the world will change as more and more people are born and require homes and jobs.
I think less homes less people and more space is whats needed to keep man's mind healthy.

Peter (Worldman): said...

Yes, I agree with your post. Nice houses are spoiled with garages.

Shaun said...

In my opinion it is not whether it is ugly or not, but rather the level of importance we place on our vehicles, and that is pretty sad...

Conchscooter said...

Yet again Key West distinguishes itself by not looking like the rest of north america (and Villigen). I live on stilts and park under my 700 square foot/65 sq meter house. Efficient and sensible.

Z said...

Andreas: Do you live in Switzerland? Which Kanton, if I may ask?

Well, there are parts which are relatively high density though not so much in the villages. Like around Brugg/Lauffohr/Au, and the the whole swath from Baden to almost Würenlingen.

Lady: Over here there's an enormous amount of shared ie public green space with well-kept walking paths and such all through the country, in all sorts of terrain (the
Wanderweg that I've mentioned here before). So even if you live in a small apartment, the whole of the outdoors is available to you, well connected by public transportation. That's one of the things I appreciate most about being here. In the parts of the US I lived in, many of the parks and such had to charge an entrance fee (small but still) to cover their upkeep.

Peter: The underground ones are alright.

Shaun: Yeah..

Conch: If only more people lived like you... Expanding on the idea of stilts, until recently many homes here had underground garages, or at least attached, discreet ones.

Andreas said...

I live on the outskirts of Zurich. Switzerland has twice the population density of Austria and we have a much higher percentage of alpine areas which cannot be populated. Population grew by 1.4% in the last year alone due to immigration. Every day an area the size of 11 football fields is built over! I cycle a lot in rural areas and it saddens me to see all the fields and pastures go for developments.

Z said...

Andreas: It's not just immigration. The amount of space occupied per person has gone up as well. In 2002 it was double what it was in 1935, according to a study that I read about in swissinfo, a link to the story is here. I'm guilty on both counts. Anyway, I think now with the crisis, there will be a natural braking of the sprawl. At least, I hope so.

BTW, how about a ZH daily photo blog? There used to be a couple, by Expats, but they've quit.

Shaun said...

Z, I have a new one.. .tell me what you think... see link...