The picture shows a typical middle-class house in Verduria-city, in which many of the recurring features of Verdurian domestic architecture can be seen:
- An intimacy gradient, from the enclosed foyer (ďeratún), to the refined formal audnáe where guests are received, to the big friendly kitchen (rälnáe) where the family gathers and welcomes close friends, to the large shared bath (galináe), to the bedrooms (nuvnáî)-- the master bedroom, the couple's realm, being farthest from the entrance.
- The focus of the house is the large back structure, containing a kitchen and bath. The family eats and plays in the kitchen; there are attached pantry areas for storage. Verduria's climate is warm, so the chimney is used only for cooking and to warm the galináe. A lower-class house will consist of these two rooms only, with sleeping alcoves.
- The cayun or toilet is here for convenience, opening to both rooms. It can be cleaned out from the back of the house; or the owners may be fortunate enough to be located near the city's newly constructed sewer lines-- a civic improvement made necessary by the metropolis's explosive growth (it now has over 600,000 inhabitants).
- A large bath (galináe), whose focus is a pool which extends outside the house into the garden. Verdurians are not modest en famille, and the whole family will bathe together. As in Japan, you don't clean yourself in the bath; you soap up and rinse seated on a stool, and step into the pool only when clean, to relax. (Almean humans, for reasons rooted in their biology, are very attached to the water, and rarely live where they do not have daily access to water for bathing).
- The whole house is bathed in light: every room has windows on at least two sides, often three. All look into the central garden as well. Houses organized round a central garden or courtyard, often with a pool in it, have been a Caďinorian preference for milennia.
A richer family might build additional rooms. The order of priority would probably be: a larger and more magnificent foyer and audnáe; quarters for servants; a larger garden and galináe with a pool large enough for swimming; single-function rooms such as a study, a music room, a chapel, or a practice area for athletics.
- The bedrooms are built with closets, as well as alcoves that form semi-private niches for the older children, and a quiet half-room within the master bedroom
The bedrooms might be extended to a second floor, most likely with an outside staircase to reach them. Extra bedrooms could be used for grown children, or for a grandparent or aunt or uncle, or for a servant.
My thanks to graženomî Sulbes and Ilimëra Šailey for allowing their home to be used as an example.
© 1998 by Mark Rosenfelder