Blackwell North Amer Ever since Thomas Jefferson built Monticello, American architects have used their own houses as laboratories, testing new ideas and putting a fresh spin on the old. To select the best of our own era, Michael Webb traveled coast to coast, talking with 150 architects, and looking for houses and apartments that respond creatively to the challenge of site, context, and budget. He chose 41 recent examples, and six modern classics. Together they demonstrate how rich is the idea of "house." Pioneers like Schindler, Neutra, Wright, Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames, and Philip Johnson explored new ways of enclosing space and relating buildings to nature. They shocked their contemporaries and inspired their successors. The latest work shown here ranges even more widely - from a tree house in Berkeley to a playful weekend cottage on Lake Michigan, from a cluster of wooden towers in a Florida palm grove to a Toronto house that fuses craft and technology. Sophisticated New York apartments, daring hillside houses in Los Angeles, and witty variations on the New England vernacular reflect America's regional diversity. Houses are grouped by type. Over 200 color and vintage black and white photos, plans, and sections are woven together with lively descriptions of what each architect built - and why. These architectural adventures offer new ways of satisfying practical and emotional needs, and write another chapter in the history of the American house. They demonstrate the timeless virtues of light and space, openness and privacy, fine craftsmanship and economical construction. Everyone who has dreamed of building a unique house or is planning piecemeal improvements can find inspiration is this eclectic anthology.