Krumwiede’s most convincing project appears in the final pages, which, quite oddly, makes it seem like an afterthought. Borrowing its title from Dan Graham’s photo-essay “Homes for America” (1966–67), Krumwiede’s “New Homes for America” takes us into the mind of an architect pulling an all-nighter before a client presentation. We see her vision of enormous suburban houses she names “The Buckingham,” “Ledoux,” “Owen” and, tellingly, the “Fourier” (Figure 3). This vision is Krumwiede’s strongest example of what Albert Pope refers to as a “phalanstery” of suburban collective living (251). This plan is a radical departure from the single-family house, exploring the single-family home through a linear collage of typical floor plans. It places a new breed of suburbanites in a communal setting where they have direct access to each other’s lives. Reading from left to right, all the rooms are accessible across the multiple home units. In one layout, we see six fully laden dining tables, a scenario that implies that multiple families dine together. Krumwiede’s salacious mischief becomes evident at the right-hand end of the plan. Twin pedestal baths and giant walk-in closets are one thing, but what “couple” needs three WCs in in an en suite bedroom arrangement? The same goes for “The Fourier,” in which a master bedroom leads onto a twin master bedroom via an en suite bathroom with conjoined pedestal baths! What are the implications of this amalgamation of poolrooms, saunas, baths and music rooms all endlessly linked via Weekley’s design mantra of “flex space” and “sight lines”?
Overall, Atlas of Another America is a dense and fascinating book. What I find most remarkable is Krumweide’s ability to make vivid the hidden contradictions of an uber-homogenized suburban future. Whether read as a cautionary vision of McMansion complacency, a thoroughly researched typology of houses, or a sincere attempt to plan agrarian urbanism, the book documents a long and thrilling journey from Weekley’s collection of model homes on Houston’s Highway 290.