The most salient specification of the house was its modest proportions. At around 1,700 square feet, it was the size of the average American home built in 1980.

Every year, in conjunction with a big trade show, the magazine Builder creates something it calls its “concept home.” The house is an exhibition on a theme — the 2004 edition, for example, was called the Ultimate Family Home — but also a commercial venture. …During the last decade’s real estate boom, the annual demonstration kept up with the times: designs abounded with baronial features like colonnades, cathedral ceilings and observation towers, and they sometimes topped 6,000 square feet. But then the crash came, wiping out credit lines and shaking the industry’s confidence. For this year’s show, Boyce Thompson, the editorial director of Builder, wanted a look more attuned to curtailed appetites, so he came up with a concept that he called a Home for the New Economy.
By Andrew Rice, October 15, 2010 NYT

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