This series of posts originally appeared on McMansion Makeover 1.0 on 9/18/15 and 9/22/15 respectively:

Occasionally I’ll contemplate entering an architecture competition.  In most cases I’ll register, pay the entry fee, and proceed to procrastinate and ultimately not do anything.  I’m more like a benefactor of competitions. Competitions are especially popular for the professor-type architects that like to pontificate and theorize on whether Corbusier was a cross-dresser, but ultimately don’t design anything that gets built.  There are actual competitions that do lead to commissions but often those are reserved for the uber-elite of the profession who have sold their souls to Satan.  Bjarke Ingels specializes in them as well as having a disarming Danish accent.  He’s also easy on the eyes.

With that being said, I came across this new website that is trying to make a few nickels getting really cheap people to post design projects.  It’s not a bad idea but I think the creators probably haven’t quit their day job.  For amounts ranging from $500-$2000 someone may ask for a design for their bathroom or a whole house (those are the really cheap people).  But, hey, architects/designers don’t care about money anyway right?  It’s all about scratching that pleasure zone when you work out that perfect floor plan like the demigod you are.  Or is that just me.

I was looking for a competition that was simple and quick and perhaps related to the McMansion Makeover theme.  I quickly found someone who was looking for help improving the curb appeal of their house for the king’s ransom of $500.  Check out this trainwreck:

This is a McMansion with cancer.  There is so much wrong here I can’t even begin to put it into words.  I have no idea where it’s located but I think it must be just outside Charlotte, NC.  I’m amazed that the owner realized they need help with curb appeal because if they have that level of awareness how the hell did they agree to buy the place in the first place.  Maybe it was inherited.  Maybe the husband or wife gave into the other because it’s convenient to the Piggly Wiggly or their favorite fishing hole and they are secretly reaching out to show the other what they could do with the place.  They’re praying to God they don’t see the $500 on the credit card.

In the end, as usual, I almost missed the deadline (at least it wouldn’t have cost me anything).  I gave it about 3 hours and here’s what I came up with.

The thought is to fill in this hole where the existing front door is with something that more clearly establishes the entrance.  The gable at the second floor would tie into the odd dormer thingamajig to clean things up a bit.  This would be a double height space in the entrance for a bit of drama (but not too much drama) and light.  The roofline on the right side of the entrance would carry across and form a porch with the inexplicable french doors.  Columns that turn into pilasters attempt to bring some unity to this mess.  A new pediment over the door further lends to create a focal point.  I conveniently located to trees to block the rest.  Short of burning the place down, this is the best I could do.

From 9/22/15:

The McMansion Master is happy to report we garnered 2nd place in the competition!  For our effort we pockets $145 of the winnings.  Considering I spent about 3 hours on it that’s not too shabby.  Hey it’s a steak dinner!  Here’s a link to the competition page:

Congratulations to the winner, Jeff Ribnik, Architect

First Place, Jeff Ribnik Architect

Image Exterior Elevation - C...

Second Place, Yours Truly

View 01

Third Place, Gordana Vujasevic

Option 1: light grey m...


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