Sunday, April 26, 2015

Real Life in the Xhouse1

The home owner sent me a new photo today - a remarkable panoramic view of the multi-level open living space of the XHouse1 he built over this past year in Indiana.

In his note he apologized for the signs of daily life, and not “staging” the image better. But I reassured him that there could be no better testament to the home than evidence of everyday life within it.

I am really not one for the staged pristine kind of magazine like photography that is usually done to promote home design. Smart people are not fooled by careful staging. People who are, I suppose are doomed to chase an idealized image, one that real life rarely cooperates with. I think people that appreciate the kind of design I am promoting through our house catalog see through cosmetics, and are able to imagine their own lives in these homes. For them, and for me, there is nothing more affirming than actually seeing real life in these built houses.

A real photo gives you insight into real life. Its not theater, not a stage set, and I believe that this is what our customers also believe and have chose to persue. At a fundamental level our kind of modern design rejects the theater of historic pastiche and phoney ornament that are typical of status quo traditional based housing designs.

Check out a larger version of the panorama on the house’s Flickr page.

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Mock-Up of USA New Wall & Swedish Platform Framing

In mid February the founders of ByggHouse gathered in Rockford, Ill for a team meeting, and for a team building activity we undertook the construction of a mock-up of a nordic layered wall using American building materials and components.

the interior side layers

I've been describing this wall assembly in the talks I've given over the past few years, and I have multiple diagrams and several videos explaining the configuration of USA New Wall and Swedish Platform Framing. But at times having a physical mock-up speaks louder than words or drawings, so we set out to build the mockup you now see here.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

PA Plathouse in the flesh

I had a chance to get out to central Pennsylvania last week and visit the Plat House that is under construction. Yes, we've been selling houseplans now for 10 years, and this is the first time I've ever been able to visit one in person, whether built or underway. Amazing, but that's the nature of houseplans - the price of plans does not include travel expenses. So it was a great thrill to visit and walk around and through a house that has until now only existed in my mind.

Our customer is building the 3 bedroom version of the Plat House in central PA. He has a beautiful site for the house. Its on a sloping site overlooking the Susquehanna River. Its broad in this region, so there is a lot of water out there and it makes for a beautiful view. The site is wooded with other homes on the adjacent lots. But none of them too close to feel suburban, and none too far to feel alone in the woods. Its a nice balance. The side is sloping gently down from the road, and all told it is really an ideal site for this house.

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