The Eichler Attraction / by keith messick

Joseph Eichler hired architects to design the tract homes he built.  The result was homes that still look fresh and unique today.   

Joseph Eichler built homes that have a following.  Many people have fallen in love with the style and livability of these homes.  Owners covet their homes.

Why such patronage?  

Eichler had two things going for him.  The first was location.  He built his homes in California.  The weather in California is temperate; very forgiving.  It does not have the extremes that other locations across the country have.  His homes took full advantage of their location. 

The second was design.  While Joseph Eichler was a production builder (he built tract homes), he hired architects to design the homes he built.  This approach yielded designs that were simple, clean, and elegant. 

The homes were modest in size, but took full advantage of the California climate.  The designs almost always included big expanses of glass, which created a strong visual and physical connection to the exterior.  The spaces flowed seamlessly from inside to out. The result was homes that did not look or live like other tract homes.  The outdoor connection, often through the use of atriums, made the homes feel much larger than they actually were.  And while many of his homes date back to the 1940's, Eichler homes still look fresh and unique today.

The key here is that Eichler hired architects to design the homes he built.  There are thousands of tract homes across the United States.  People live in them.  They serve the purpose of providing shelter and a place to call home.  However, none of them have a following like the Eichler's.  

While I have a biased view on and a vested interest in this topic, I would recommend hiring an architect for your project.  At the very least, I would suggest discussing your project with an architect.  Their designs can create lasting, tangible equity.