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The house is a building (or part of it) used permanently by people to shelter from the elements. It hosts one or more families and sometimes even pets.
They are usually huddled together to form almost blocks. Thus an extended housing model takes hold: from Mesopotamia to Egypt, from Crete to ancient Greece.
Adapting to the social and climatic environment, the Mesopotamian house develops around an uncovered internal courtyard, from which one enters the various rooms. The areas are distinct: the life of the men takes place on the ground floor, while the women and servants live on the upper floor.
Instead, ancient Egypt found collective solutions in common terraced houses, built with rough bricks and straw, sometimes constituting real neighborhoods.
As for the Roman house, derived from the Greek and Etruscan houses, it was distributed around one or two courtyards (atrium and peristilium) and was divided into a part used for private life. The monasteries that appeared in the early Middle Ages also responded to the needs of defense and community life, based on the coexistence of houses (the monks' cells organized around the cloister), of social life and prayer (refectory and church) and work activity , especially agricultural. Small communities of inhabitants soon formed around them.
The single-family house, not to be confused with the villa or the Roman cottage, is a building construction, intended as a dwelling for a single family, independent from other housing units and generally equipped with a garden and corresponds to a building type.
It was born in its current definition with the urbanism of the industrial revolution and the development of the new concepts of home typical of the bourgeois classes. However, it derives historically from models of the past and represents a simplification and economy of the villa and country house in its various meanings. Its most rigorous exemplification is fixed in architecture by the Modern Movement, for example with the "prairie houses" of Frank Lloyd Wright and criticized in some way by Le Corbusier, who will try to overcome the concept with the Unitè d'Habitation.
Even today it represents the most coveted building typology, due to the characteristics of independence from other homes and the freedom from condominium constraints, combined with greater privacy and the presence of accessory functions such as the garden. Its cost, however, is higher than other types of dwelling, and the price of the land and the lack of those economies deriving from the commonality of some structures and systems considerably affect it.