Trope-a-Day: Big Fancy House

Big Fancy House: Subverted, inasmuch as it’s not so much a symbol of wealth and status, as just a reflection of the way that the propertarian-minded eldrae just plain can’t stand to live all squished up on top of each other.  (See also starship cabins, inefficiently large volume of, etc.)

Ergo, cities tend to sprawl, and yes, houses tend to be large detached affairs.  No-one ever invented the duplex/semi-detached, and the rowhouse/terrace is entirely out of the question, although a construct and equivalents that is essentially four houses on the inside of a circular or pentagonal wall, sharing the wall and a common garden/yards outside their private gardens, does exist.  The wealthy get even bigger ones, it’s true, but even the regular housing would qualify as at least a minor Big Fancy House by Terran standards.

And when you find skyscraper apartments on the market – well, those selling them to the middle class (these days, there is no lower class) chop entire floors into quarters, and sell those.  The upper-middle class get entire floors.  The upper class get multiple floors, treating the building as a series of mansions stacked vertically.  And the between-floor insulation is a lot more solid than we tend to build ’em.