RYBCZYNSKI ON MCMANSIONS. Witold Rybczynski in this Slate slide show focuses on two characteristics of mcmansions.

First, bigness. “It isn’t just that they were big, like their namesake Big Macs; it’s that they celebrated bigness… Look at the house on the right [#2 in the slide show]…. It’s also a matter of scale. Especially in a large house, the relationship of the different parts is important. Here, the blank gables and the spacing of the windows (which are too far apart) and of the dormers (which are too close together) make this boxy house look bigger than it really is.”

Second, numerous mismatched architectural elements. Rybczynski says: “In this house [#3 in the slide show], for example, there are numerous architectural bits and pieces: a portico, classical columns, two Palladian windows, dentil moldings at the eaves, even quoins…..like a badly mismatched outfit.”

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