Values of a Community, Reflected in a House

Just returned from a business trip to New Orleans and visited the botanical gardens. Tucked into a corner near the reception centre is a lovely little house built with an exterior cladding of small mirrors pasted to the entire envelope of the house. The walls and roof are made of a composite of 8.5 X 11 sized mirrors. The house has a shiny chrome like finish as though the exterior was built of armour squares from a long unused museum piece of medieval armour. The faceted mirrors recall the look of reflective scales of a metallic reptile. Then again, I think of the brilliant surface of solar panels attached to an space craft. The mirrored house is a thought provoking garden sculpture.

So I had to ask why am I intrigued by the shiny little house? What does the house reflect? Could the house reflect the happenings of the neighbourhood. That’s possible on a philosophic level. Social values are strongly reflected in architecture and building materials. The size of a home reflects the wealth of a community as we surely like to associate with others who are at a similar wealth bracket as our own. Higher wealth is OK but never lower. Communities are like palisades of similar values. That sounds mighty but the reality is that there is an assortment or homes and people in a community and that make a diversity. More interesting to live in diversity of styles, peoples and cultures. People are happier in a complex network of familiar differences