Kate Wagner: The Rise of the McModern


Rachel Sender

Rachel Sender

From busy rooflines to plastic shutters, mismatched windows to four-car garages, the McMansion has dominated the American suburban residential landscape for almost 40 years without a notable change in aesthetics. Many people know a McMansion when they see one. The typical McMansion follows a formula: It’s large, cheaply constructed, and architecturally sloppy.

How to identify a McModern, as per McMansion Hell:
-Single-family detached home
-Constructed from inexpensive materials, such as vinyl, stucco board, and veneers, rather than traditional materials such as stucco or reinforced concrete
-Contrasting exterior cladding materials and colors
-Attached garage and/or two-story foyer
-Sometimes features non-modern details like Tuscan columns or windows with stylized muntins
-Massing and rooflines may be over-elaborate, combining several roof forms, e.g. terrace, shed, “butterfly,” or “M-shaped”
-May include decorative forms like extruded walls or cantilevers clad in differing materials
-Windows are erratically sized and placed in “artistic” configurations without consideration for overall composition

See more from Kate Wagner at McMansion Hell