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Hugh Newell Jacobsen Releases Customizable 'Dream Home' Plans

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Name-brand modern architecture available to the masses

In the 90s, Life magazine launched its brilliant Dream House experiment, commissioning famous architects to design the perfect affordable home, and then sell the plans to anyone for just a few hundred dollars.

Maven of American Minimalism Hugh Newell Jacobsen was asked to participate and designed the 1998 Dream House, one of the most popular sets of mail-order home plans since Frank Lloyd Wright's 1938 design for Life.

Inspired by traditional American dwellings, Jacobsen's pavilion-style home featured a central, saltbox-like building connected to shorter symmetrical wings. It was made for a modern lifestyle, but echoed traditional vernacular architecture, and readers went wild for it.

Now, those plans are being relaunched by Jacobsen Architects, with an updated, more customizable layout. Sold by the Herring Bay Holding Company, Jacobsen's Dream House 2.0 plans can be tailored with a range of different configurations, materials, and tweaks designed to retain the home's design integrity.

For instance, the exterior options range from brick to tongue-and-groove siding, with roofs available in metal, wood shingle, or asphalt shingle. For homes built in flood zones, there's even an option for a FEMA-rated design built on piers.

And just like Life's original, the plans can be bought by anyone for a relatively affordable price. The plans start at $3,000.

The company has already seen interest from more than fifty people eager to purchase the updated home plans, according to Marketing Director Ryan Miner.

Best-Laid Plans: LIFE Magazine's Dream Homes, DIY for the Common Man [Curbed]

21 First Drafts: Hugh Newell Jacobsen's Roberts Residence [Curbed]


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