Uncanny Arcadia

The suburban home, which derives from the victorian house, the domus and the villa, is an architectural myth. Like a complex fairy tale, it is fed by these powerful historical archetypes. However, reality must compromise and architects must offer inexpensive, safe, up-to-date and fashionable, fully-equipped, quickly-built, technically adpated and comfortable palaces for the middle-class. These palaces are understood to be a condition for happiness. Uncanny Arcadia considers the absurdity of the reference and highlights the desperate need for architects to rethink the suburban typology, both architectural and urban.

“Uncanny”, meaning “uncomfortably strange, arousing fear or dread” and “Arcadia”, “a real or imaginary place offering peace and simplicity” are oxymorons… just as is the suburban villa, both low-cost mass housing and personal palace. The type in itself is a grotesque collage of inadequate references to power, culture and money, the suggestion of a lifestyle based on accumulation.The suburban villa is a packaging for consumer products and, just like packaging, it is wasteful, gaudy and disposable.