Tuesday, August 30, 2016

0862 XHouse1 home office & studio



We've toured the entire XHouse1 now, but we've skipped past the studio/home office on the entry level just off the entry foyer. Because of the stacked terrace interior this space has a story and a half ceiling. A big window looks out to the front of the house, a small window to the entry niche, and the door to the foyer, a big room for a lot of possibilities. Continue reading "0862 XHouse1 home office & studio"

Monday, August 29, 2016

0242 Plat House front side of the house



The Plat House is all business on the back side, and on a need to know only basis on the front. What I'm trying to say is the side of the Plat house that faces your road or drive - max privacy, just windows needed for effective cross ventilation, and nothing else that distracts from the experience on the back side of the house. Continue reading "0242 Plat House front side of the house"

Friday, August 26, 2016

1204 RoHouse 2 1/2 story attic floor



One of the great things about the RoHouse Family of house designs is they are available in different heights - 2, 2 1/2, and 3 story designs. The 2 1/2 story design includes a dormered attic floor which can be used for a number of purposes. If you want an additional bedroom, here is the space. But if you want a home office, or a flexible family room, guest quarters the attic level has you covered. In this view we are looking at the longitudinal stair version of the plan. Continue reading "1204 RoHouse 2 1/2 story attic floor"

Thursday, August 25, 2016

0385 Tray House living room clerestory windows



The past couple of images from the Tray House have been from the upstairs hall, which has a view out this triangular side clerestory window. Its a great feature of the living room, letting in a lot of light, but still providing privacy to the side of the house facing neighbors. And as you can see in the upstairs hall images its a big part of the second floor environment as well. Continue reading "0385 Tray House living room clerestory windows"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1201 XHouse5 top of the stairs



On our way up stairs in the XHouse5, the last stop is the finished attic level. From the middle landing to the attic we can see the big common room on this top level, as well as the second floor hall and a sliver of a view into one of the bedrooms. The big attic room can be divided if it makes sense into another bedroom, guest room, or home office. Or remain a big play room or family room for all. Continue reading "1201 XHouse5 top of the stairs"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1192 Lagom House 2 Story kitchen



The kitchen of any home ends up being the hub of domestic life, and the Lagom House is no different. First off you need good work space - a generous amount of counter surface. Easy access to family life means its own "back-stair" access from the bedrooms upstairs. Good views and direct access to the backyard, for keeping eyes on kids, and for easy indoor and outdoor living. A window on the driveway to keep an eye on the comings and goings of kids and cars. And proximity to other workspaces - the laundry room is immediately adjacent, and its a short hop to the front door as well. Continue reading "1192 Lagom House 2 Story kitchen"

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stacked Townhomes - Philadelphia, a resource for everything row house


Those who followed my Row House design study know that I relied on the rich stock of row house housing prototypes in nearby Philadelphia. The city contains a broad range of row house precedents from colonial times to the present. Almost every variation in row houses is represented in the city, so it should come as no surprise that there are examples of Stacked Townhomes in recent history.



When I was a young architect that landed in Philadelphia I immediately became aware of this scattered site infill project which consisted of a mix of two story townhouses, and a curious precursor to the stacked townhouse. This was a three story row house configured as a two story unit above a one story flat. These were built on some grant program that made the houses more affordable to low income home buyers, and at the time they were built the neighborhood was just beginning a transition through redevelopment.
Continue reading "Stacked Townhomes - Philadelphia, a resource for everything row house"

0967 XHouse3 master bedroom



If you remember the last post for the XHouse3 we were at the top of the stair looking back down. When we get to the very top we arrive at the master bedroom. You can just see the top of the stair landing and railing out the bedroom door. To one side is a walk-in master closet, and in the corresponding side out of frame to the right is the door to the master bathroom. And right in front of your floating bed is a big window that overlooks the back yard, all the better if you have a nice view. Continue reading "0967 XHouse3 master bedroom"

Friday, August 19, 2016

0357 Steel Case House living room niche



The living room of the Steel Case House has a nice feature - a small niche, a room within a room if you will. This is a perfect spot for a more intimate seating group, perhaps a place for smaller video screen, or a place to set up a home desk, or a spot for that collection of whatever it is you collect. Its your call. Continue reading "0357 Steel Case House living room niche"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

0965 XHouse2 back porch



The back porch of the XHouse2 is one of the best assets of this design. A front porch is a great feature for a house, and a great interface with the street. Few realize how a back porch makes a similar great interface to your own backyard. A great place to hang out, a place for your summer dinner table, and fun to watch that summer thunder storm from under cover. Continue reading "0965 XHouse2 back porch"

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

0237 Cube House master bedroom



The Cube House master bedroom is on the rear side of the second floor. It has a sliding barn door entry, which actually opens all the way up onto the stair landing. So when closes, total privacy, when open a bright spot that allows light to reach the stair. Continue reading "0237 Cube House master bedroom"

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

0518 U House master bedroom



If we were going to stand at the very tip of the U House, all the way at the end of the master bedroom, and look back this is what we'd see! If you look through the master bedroom door between the two closets you see the hall window, and through that you see the living room windows, and through those windows you seek the kitchen cabinets! Continue reading "0518 U House master bedroom"

Monday, August 15, 2016

0237 Pretender dining room



One last view inside the Pretender, from the dining room looking into the family room. This casual interface between the two rooms makes it possible for the dining room to expand at holidays and family gatherings so the table can expand into the family room if needed. The adjacent kitchen also has an open door policy to the dining room, with two doorways, one from the work area and one from the table. So while its an open plan, there is still the definition of a discrete dining room. Continue reading "0237 Pretender dining room"

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stacked Townhomes - a Russian precedent

Thanks go out to reader Tony Denzer for his observation and recall. Tony pointed out this Russian precedent of an apartment building that follows the pattern of stacked townhouse.



This interesting example was published in the well known book Modern Architecture: A Critical History by Kenneth Frampton. Here this design by Ivanov and Lavinsky is described as a precursor to Le Corbusier's Unite stacked apartments. The Russian pair prepared this design for an international housing competition in 1927 and it is believed that this design is something that Corbu would have been well aware of by the time he designed his own apartment units.

Although the 1 & 1/2 floor configuration of the apartment units are the same as Corbu's Unite, the apartment buildings themselves are very different. The Russian apartment building is not a tall multi-story block, but rather just a 3 story building containing only the two stacked units, however they are oriented off a central hallway suggesting a long horizontal apartment block.

Also of interest in this scheme is the outdoor space for each unit, in both cases off the shared bedroom. Since access to the units appears to be from the common hallway, this means the ground floor bedroom can have an outdoor space that is not an entry porch. Continue reading "Stacked Townhomes - a Russian precedent"

Friday, August 12, 2016

1299 XHouse4 on the stair second floor landing



If you've been following along with the image posts of the XHouse4 you've been coming along for this walk up the stairs. Not a better way to get a feel for the house and its vertical dimension. Today we've arived at the second floor and we have a view of the bedroom areas and the hallway leading to the master bedroom at the far end. The bathrooms and laundry room are on the left, and the kids bedrooms are on the right. The stair landing also has this nice bench, flanked by some storage cabinets, or bookshelves. Next we'll continue up to the attic floor. Continue reading "1299 XHouse4 on the stair second floor landing"