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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

shack attack

An honestly designed house. A home which doesn't try to be anything more than what it is. No effort to feed the owner's ego. No effort to bloat up to impress friends or neighbors. Just an honest little structure to house ourselves and our families. With just enough stylistic content to reflect ourselves and our values, while maintaining a connection to our culture's history of the built environment. Not too much to ask is it? It is a house type which has a continuing appeal. It's been called a bungalow, a cottage, a cabin, maybe a lodge. I'm going real down and dirty here though, and taking the concept all the way to "shack." Simple forms, natural materials, porches, and informal lifestyle. No pretense whatsoever. No country club memberships or Range Rovers need apply. Just bring your kids and dogs and enjoy yourselves for heaven's sake.

I've settled on 2400 to 2800 s.f. with 1- 1st floor bedroom and bath, with the master upstairs. Garages are optional- detached - and placed on the back of the lot. The street scape is unassuming, unimpressive, but quite comfortable. Who wants one?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

where did all the small houses go?

After gearing myself up for a run of 1500 to 2500 sf plans, seems like all I'm working on is larger homes. Here's what has gone out in the last month. The first is a 3800 s.f. plan in a Med. style. No living room or study, just a family room and a 1st floor "man" room with a walk behind bar.

The second house is a larger estate- approx. 6-7000 s.f. The front was rendered with a hip roof, the rear with a gable roof. We seem to be settling on the gable. What's interesting to me about this plan is the way there are 3 distinct circulation zones on the 1st floor. The foyer runs front to back with a staircase under a window dislay at the rear. a half flight down takes you to pool deck level. From here, you enter an area I call the grotto, a stone walled room containing a back staircase with a cozy sitting area underneath. This is centered on the opening to a barrel vaulted kitchen. The third circulation zone is conceived as a gallery, with art displays and openings to the great room, family studio, and back entry. We got rid of the two story volume in this plan, but there's still a great variety in the feel of the spaces as you move through the plan. Are we green yet? Geo thermal seems to be popular with clients deciding the extra expense is worth it if its less than a 8 year payback. I also note that the 2 story Great room was not desired in either of these plans.