Every year the National Association of Home Builders puts on a trade show, with the most current interpretation of the New American Home a glittering keystone in the festivity's fare. This structure, souped up with sponsors' latest products, is something of a self-indulgent guerilla advertising scheme, the kind that—regrettably or otherwise—seems to be the next frontier for marketing home fittings and fixtures.
In most years, the house structure itself is not much to write home about, but 2013? A whole other ballgame, a 7,000-square-foot midcentury-meets-Las Vegas palace, a $4M pad that's like a doped-up Frank Lloyd Wright design. The lot brims with artificial water features ("thousands of square feet" of it, according to the Wall Street Journal) that reflect the home's web of bridges, stairwells, and slabby stone overhangs. As one archicritic tells the Journal, Vegas-based developer Blue Heron built a home that looks like it was "designed by a defense contractor."
Inside: sleek, catalog-sterile interiors peer out of wall-to-wall retractable windows, plucky purple thrones populate the dining room, and plush rugs splotch across faux-travertine floors. Yes, it's luxe—a leap from 2012's more modest digs and worlds away from the grasp of the average American consumer; the imaginary client, according to Blue Heron, is "a professional of some sort who has a high powered, maybe stressful, all-day kind of job where they're going all day and coming home to a kind of calm, Zen-like, relaxing type environment." Let's get real, though: overdone or not, the pad's pretty slick, in a high-roller/nouveau-riche kind of way. Another plus: the home's garnered a platinum LEED rating, with a weather-sensitive water-usage system, tankless and solar-powered hot water heaters, and sustainable building materials.
· The New American Home: Wright-Inspired 'Party Pavilion'? [WSJ]
· The New American Home [official site]