Atlas of Another America

An Architectural Fiction

An architectural satire—presented in the style of an historical treatise—that imagines an alternative future for the American single-family house and its native habitat, the suburban metropolis.

 

Title Information

Keith Krumwiede. With an afterword by Albert Pope

1st edition

, 2016

Hardback

272 pages, 354 color and 168 b/w illustrations

24 x 32.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-002-2

Content

Owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream, the ultimate status symbol in the land of the free. But is the dream in crisis? Mass-marketed and endlessly multiplied, the suburban single-family house has become an instrument of global economic calamity and ongoing environmental catastrophe. Never before have we been so badly in need of a reassessment of our cultural values from an architectural perspective.
With Atlas of Another America, Keith Krumwiede has written a bold and original work of speculative architectural fiction that calls on Americans—and, increasingly, the rest of the world—to seriously reconsider the concept of the single-family home. Presented in the style of a historical architectural treatise comprised of over 150 drawings and images, Krumwiede’s “Freedomland” is a fictional utopia of communal superhomes constructed from the remains of the suburban metropolis. Freedomland’s strangely familiar visions draw on a long lineage of social and architectural thought—from Owen and Fourier to Ledoux, Branzi, and Koolhaas—in which imaginary but not entirely implausible worlds are envisioned in order to reframe reality and direct us toward new territories of action. An appendix collects five essays pertinent to the origins of Freedomland. Among them, “Atypical Plans,” a redacted and reconstructed spin on Rem Koolhaas’s landmark text “Typical Plan,” reflects upon the American Dream, houses, and the Great Recession; “Supermodel Homes” examines the mad genius of Texas developer David Weekley; and "Notes on Freedomland" assembles an account of domestic desires, communal cravings, and architectural ambitions. The book closes with the short story “New Homes for America” in which a young architect, working under the pressure of a deadline, produces new forms for communal living.

Authors & Editors

Keith Krumwiede

, born 1964, is a writer and designer whose work has been widely published and exhibited. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley and the Southern California Institute of Architecture and has taught at Rice University, Yale University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he is currently an associate professor.

Albert Pope

 is the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture at Rice University's School of Architecture in Houston, TX.

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Cover

Freedomland, One Town. Each 3 by 3-mile town in Freedomland is divided into thirty-six half-mile square sections. The four center squares serve as the town’s infrastructural core while the thirty-two remaining sections are quartered, producing 128 forty-acre neighbourhood farm estates. © Keith Krumwiede

Four Sections of a Town in Freedomland, Year 60. The estates of Freedomland rotate on a twenty-year cycle producing an ever-changing prospect of built and open space throughout the town. © Keith Krumwiede

A Chateau, Freedomland, SE 1/4 NW 1/4 Section 24. Each estate in Freedomland is composed of identical houses selected from the plan catalogs of the nation’s greatest domestic builders. © Keith Krumwiede

Don Barthelmismo Meets with Workers at The Palace, Freedomland, after Capital and Labour, 1874, by Henry Stacy Marks © Keith Krumwiede

The Mowers at A Chateau, Freedomland, after The Mowers, 1887, by Grigoriy Myasoyedov © Keith Krumwiede

A Romance Begins at Blithedale Hall, Freedomland, after John And Sophia Musters Riding At Colwick Hall, 1777, by George Stubbs © Keith Krumwiede

Blithedale Hall, Freedomland, SE 1/4 NE 1/4 Section 25. The estates of Freedomland—depending upon the number of houses employed and their particular arrangement—give the impression of being either small villages or large villas. © Keith Krumwiede

Alison’s Acres. Study for a mat subdivision—composed exclusively with houses sampled from the plan catalogues of some of America’s largest commercial homebuilders—in which the hidden and generally unacknowledged interdependencies that bind American houses together are manifest in the overall arrangement. © Keith Krumwiede

The Architect, after The Misanthrope, 1568, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder © Keith Krumwiede

Plan Detail, The Fourier, from New Homes for America © Keith Krumwiede

L’Abri de la Bourgeoisie, after L’Abri du Pauvre, 1804, by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux © Keith Krumwiede

 

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