Architects live in houses and apartments too

Roger Lewis

Architect and Washington Post columnist Roger K. Lewis recently wrote a piece that struck a chord in me, and I wanted to share it with you.

In the column he asks, “What is beauty without function?”  He continues:

Compromised functionality can include spaces and passageways undersized for their purpose and occupancy; overly circuitous or illegible interior circulation patterns that make navigation difficult; and awkwardly shaped rooms impossible to furnish or use efficiently, perhaps exacerbated by poorly placed windows and doors.

Although I continually find myself wishing Lewis wrote less densely, I couldn’t agree more with his plaint about much of today’s housing design.

We who live in New York City certainly can identify with tight kitchens that restrict movement and provide inadequate counter and storage space. Lewis sympathizes with those of us who must contend with poorly placed appliances that make for inefficient food preparation along with cabinet and oven-door swings that interfere with opening kitchen drawers.

“Even an open refrigerator door can be an irritating obstacle,” Lewis maintains.  Frequently, I see such issues in kitchens old, new and renovated.  Often, the only way to open an oven door is to stand sideways beside the appliance.

The flow in baths can be irritating as well, thanks to improper placement of sinks, toilets, bathtubs and shower stalls in relation to one another.  Too few or inconveniently located towel racks are a common problem, says the columnist.

That’s not all: “And how many millions of homeowners have complained about inadequate closet space?” he asks.

Good points, all.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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