Synopses & Reviews
Once Again, as he did in his groundbreaking book Outhouses by Famous Architects (Pomegranate, 2000), Steve Schaecher pays homage to a cultural icon: the mobile home. With erudite text, he describes the history of moveable homes, from the time of the ancient Egyptians to today's travel-bound tourists. The stylistic drawings, rendered in the personal style of notable architects, portray the mobile residential and commercial creations for those on the move or moribund.
The Petronas Towers in Malaysia -- the world's tallest buildings -- may be spectacular, but the Petronas Trailers, highly horizontal as envisioned by Cesar Pelli, are even more breathtaking, as they twist and turn at a 90 degree angle to make turns. The caring aspects of Robert Venturi are displayed in his home for his mom Vanna; the Vanna Venturi Wheeled Ranch offers all the amenities a devoted son can provide. And Adolf Loos was no slouch when it came to blending aesthetic tastes with commercial concerns: his Steiner Yard Ornament Center is a tribute to his concern for yard gnomes, pink flamingos, and garden mirror balls.
In all, Schaecher treats us to twenty-nine architectural creations. He has all the greats here: Wright, Pei, Mies van der Rohe, Gehry, Gropius, Greene and Greene, Le Corbusier, Graves, and many more. An impassioned preface by R. V. Parke, world-famous trailer park authority, adds icing to this cake.
Practicing architect Schaefer whimsically combines the mobile home with the history of architecture, presenting 29 drawings from Egyptian obilisks being toted by bearers (the "mobilisk") to a version of Frank Gehry's most famous building on wheels ("Guggenheim Cruise-Seum"). Accompanying text combin