Wednesday, August 31, 2016

0970 Lagom House kitchen time

This is the best way to understand the best features of the Lagom House design. This has has a unique balance of open plan living and discrete rooms. The kitchen, while a separate space, has an open view to the living room and the entry foyer - and is part of the circulation loop that runs around the ground floor. Continue reading "0970 Lagom House kitchen time"

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

0380 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 "0380 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"

Thursday, August 11, 2016

0857 L House ground floor circulation axis

This view betrays a bit of the pragmatic planning of the L House design. This is the circulation path along the ground floor, which is adjacent to the entry foyer and the stair that we looked at in the last image post. You can see that this path runs all the way into the kitchen in the distance, and if we turned around it would lead to the home office, and the door to the family room. Rational and inspired! Continue reading "0857 L House ground floor circulation axis"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

0738 Palo Alto master bedroom

Here finally is the master bedroom of the Palo Alto house. It has its own door to the backyard, and its own small patio just outside with its own porch roof that joins up to the rest of the yard. For me this has always evoked my childhood memories of vacation road trips with my family, staying in mid-century modern motels on the road. These would often have a picture window next to the door (with privacy curtains of course!). These rooms would typically have a couple of sitting chairs by the window, maybe a small table. So here is a little shout out to road trips and the great motels of days gone by! Continue reading "0738 Palo Alto master bedroom"

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

0367 Porch House living room

Last image of the Porch House we shared was the view from the top of the stairs, and this week we turn to the right to take in the view from the big picture window at the end of the living room - the window that wraps around the corner! In our model the ceiling is finished with handsome tongue and groove pine boards to play up the rustic atmosphere. The space is tall at the far end, but the proportions are still intimate and the space welcoming and cozy. The room overlooks the stairway up from the porch level, and the two bedrooms are out of frame to the right. Continue reading "0367 Porch House living room"

Monday, August 08, 2016

0970 Lagom House master bedroom

And now ladies and gentlemen, this very pleasant room is the Master Bedroom of the Lagom House. Needs more furniture, and some art on the walls! But the pleasant light and big shaded windows, that is everything promised by the Lagom House. The great sloping roof of the Lagom House that is a platform for solar energy collection also creates the cozy dormered bedroom spaces on the second floor, similar to a traditional bungalow. This is all part of creating a compact and efficient floor plan, a compact house that sips energy. Continue reading "0970 Lagom House master bedroom"

Friday, August 05, 2016

0862 XHouse1 master bedroom

At the top of the winding stair of the XHouse1 lies the master bedroom at the highest level. When you reach this point you have returned to the back of the house and the Master Bedroom has a large window wall looking out over the landscape from there. Continue reading "0862 XHouse1 master bedroom"

Thursday, August 04, 2016

0242 Plat House kitchen table

The kitchen table bay window at the Plat House exists in two place - at once a perch into the landscape, and at the same time part of the open living - dining - kitchen space. Continue reading "0242 Plat House kitchen table"

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

1204 RoHouse longitudinal stair plan

Last time we looked at the first time at the interior of the longitudinal stair version of the RoHouse design. I described the different strategy this version uses to create privacy from the street by placing the kitchen work space up front with a vestibule between the front door and the living space. Here is the view from the rear door to the yard where you can see the pass thru to the kitchen and a glimpse of the front door. Continue reading "1204 RoHouse longitudinal stair plan"

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

0385 Tray House upstairs hall - on the tray

Our last post was from the upstairs hall of the Tray House, and again we have another image from here, at the top of the stair looking out the triangular clerestory window at the end of the house. I love the place at the jamb of the basement door where the big window is right there! Its like the two worlds - the living room, and the upstairs hall - coming together! Continue reading "0385 Tray House upstairs hall - on the tray"

Monday, August 01, 2016

1201 XHouse5 master bedroom

The back half of the second floor of the XHouse5 is the master bedroom suite. To the left is the master bathroom and out of frame to the left the walk-in closet. A big window faces the rear yard, and a high window for privacy faces the side towards neighbors. Continue reading "1201 XHouse5 master bedroom"