Identification and symbolism

With the growth of dense settlement, humans designed ways of identifying houses and parcels of land. Individual houses sometimes acquire proper names, and those names may acquire in their turn considerable emotional connotations. For example, the house of Howards End or the castle of Brideshead Revisited. A more systematic and general approach to identifying houses may use various methods of house numbering.

Houses may express the circumstances or opinions of their builders or their inhabitants. Thus, a vast and elaborate house may serve as a sign of conspicuous wealth whereas a low-profile house built of recycled materials may indicate support of energy conservation. Houses of particular historical significance (former residences of the famous, for example, or even just very old houses) may gain a protected status in town planning as examples of built heritage or of streetscape. Commemorative plaques may mark such structures. Home ownership provides a common measure of prosperity in economics. Contrast the importance of house-destruction, tent dwelling and house rebuilding in the wake of many natural disasters.

 

 


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