Sunday, January 17, 2010

Contest House - first tile

Beginning the presentation graphics for the contest.

The contest allows up to 9 images, and I plan on using all of them simply to increase the amount of info conveyed about the design proposal, to better explain the design. On the contest site they are presented in a grid of thumbnails which I am referring to individual images as "tiles".

The first tile is most important. You need to hook the browsers on that first tile into looking into your design more closely. To that end I want them to be able to grasp the house immediately - visually both floor plans need to be presented, and an image that captures the spirit of the house. Text wise I want to present them with the overriding concept of the home. We want to feed both visual and verbal browsers and entice them to click on to the next image.

The image here is a placeholder, and is obscuring the title text. The final image will have the house on a white background, with house in context images appearing elsewhere in the presentation.


  1. I don't know if you are soliciting comments but... I have followed your development and there has been something that seems unbalanced about the dormers. Perhaps if the roof line over the dormers were angled up it would counter the angle of main roof line, like interleaved fingers.

  2. The whole massing does have a bit of a feeling of the center of gravity being off center - its due to the deep overhang on the sunward side, and the cantilevered sun shades of the dormers. I'm sort of partial to the feeling of imbalance realizing that its totally perceptual and the structure will not have any inclination to tip over!

    I really like the idea of sloping the dormers up, but it would create a valley where the dormers meet the roof - not an impossible condition by any stretch, but something that would need to be done with care, correctly. As intriguing as the idea is I can't bring myself to saddle the house with that detail. Somehow I think I'm pushing the limits of what a status quo builder can fathom. I don't want to push it over the edge. I hope this is not seen as conservative as much as prudent.

  3. I just can't understand why we build 'old-fashioned' type homes. Why not design using logic. By that I mean.. build for 21st century & onward.. 22nd century & beyond. There are ways.. and use materials that 'work' for us. Like foamed concrete. It is light & strong & insulates & can be used for roof too. Why use shingles..? Also, use overhangs to shelter glass areas, while allowing light to enter. And.. use atriums & center courtyards. For light and wonderful private spaces..? Daylighting costs nothing. A house like that isn't a 'project' to keep you sheltered. A house should coddle the occupants in safety & comfort. Why have rotting wood..?

  4. Phantom - I love advanced building systems, but the economic reality is that we have a residential construction industry here that is totally geared to light wood framing. I want to provide house plans that people can build now, by any builder they approach, without asking them to try something new or re-learn how to build a house. As new technology becomes commonplace we'll be the first to adopt and promote it. But the onus is not, can not, be on me to push that through my house plans. This will only create greif for my customers and ultimately make it infeasible for me to invest in creating these designs, if I can't sell the plans. Change simply takes time.

  5. lavardera.. yes, I really understand that. My problem was growing up when I saw so many new 'mid-century modern' (as they are called now) homes. I was a young teen & well remember this:

    And so many others. With courtyard atriums also. It is extremely disappointing to have watched our promising modern future was blocked by the lumber & construction industry.

  6. Yes, several of the Case Study houses were steel, many more were wood. The landmark Eichler courtyard houses were predominantly wood. I've worked on several steel houses and I love it, but I think your comments are extremely naive. The lumber industry did not "block" our future as you say. The steel industry was free to compete for housing but the fact is that the steel industry was doing more than well in commercial building, and has never been able to advance a steel building system that was competitive with wood. In the meantime wood houses are not the universal rotting termite traps that you suggest. Properly detailed, built, and maintained wood houses last a lifetime or two.

    This has gotten tangental, so if you don't mind lets call this part of the discussion done.