Some things I write about are more exciting for me than others.  The Holyoke Cabin article is one of those.  There were qualities about the building that just grabbed me as soon as I saw it.  I really like the simplicity of the approach and the lightness with which it rests on the ground (Glenn Murcutt would love this).  I also found out, after writing my article, that the guy at Hive Modular who designed and built this studied architecture under William Massie (currently the head of Architecture at Cranbrook).

Not everything about it is for me, though. There are things I’m sure I would do differently, if this were my project. (For one thing, the chimney looks too low to meet code, but that’s my own personal tic coming from my builder spec houses days.) And I wonder if one could get by with just four piers. Something about the extra pair of supports extraneous to me. But I don’t want to pick on it too much, a lot of what I’ve seen of it is really wonderful.

Looking at this, it struck me that this  might be an example of something I would call Midwest Regional architecture.

I’ve been thinking about a regional midwestern style of architecture, particularly after reading and looking at the work of Brian MacKay-Lyons in the Canadian Maritimes and firms like Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen (now reconfigured into different firms), Miller Hull Partnership, and others in the Pacific Northwest.  MacKay-Lyons preaches it (appropriate regionalism), as well as practicing it.  There are examples of buildings I’ve seen that I know immediately are from the Pacific Northwest, before I see any information about the project at all.  There are some things that are becoming regional characteristics particularly for the Pacific Northwest.  I think they are present in the midwest, as well.  Maybe they are not yet well defined and clearly understood, but I think that a midwestern regionalism is possible.

It doesn’t need to include shipping containers in all instances (or even at all), but, as I’ve said, there are aspects of that cabin that really appeal to me and strike me as being regionally appropriate. I’ve had thoughts about using shipping containers for projects from time to time, and I have some resources I’ve been collecting. (ISBU = “Intermodal Steel Building Unit”) Links are part of that, as well, so this piece serves as a placeholder for some of those resources, too, like this link about shipping container homes which, in turn, contains a lot of good resource links.  Rather than copy them all here, I will leave the link to the article instead.

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