architect's pet peeve no. 10 – turrets

turret: a little tower; specifically, an ornamental structure at an angle of a larger structure, as in medieval architecture.

Or, in suburban American houses.

I don’t know if it is some strange, romantic idea that makes some builders and some homeowners want a turret on their houses. I get it, “my home is my castle”, but unless you’re the Baron of Something or Other and you live in one of these:

then the “castle” thing is supposed to be a metaphor, not a design program.

The problem here is that the turret sucks up all the design so that you can really only see the turret itself. Especially if it is round, it dominates the entire composition rendering everything else mute and puny. This is even more true when the main house entry is located in the turret, creating a wide gaping maw that is slightly terrifying.

In the end, even in a very large house, even when used as a volume to hold a curving stair, a turret is just too much for a house to bear.

So let’s just say no to these monsters. They are too big, too insistent, too dominant. And, you don’t need to be tempted to lock up family members in the top cell anyway.

(I apologize if one of these photos is of your house. You should see the piece of crap I live in)


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