Designed in conjunction with an electrical engineer for a competition, this spec house was modeled in Revit 2009 and received 12th place out of more than 300 entrants.
- 1,600 sf
- 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom
- 2 story
Per the competition bio, the owners are a young couple who enjoy the open feeling of their loft but wish to have one or two children and want to do so in a home which is at the fringe of the urban core. Additionally, the husband has an extensive array of computers and servers and wishes to be able to work from home.
The design is a cohesive mix of traditional and modern design and can easily sit within any context. The saltbox style pieces which contain the more private areas for the family respect existing surrounding structures. The modern Main Square which separates and ties the two adjacent pieces is not obtrusive but inspires a second glance from passersby.
The bedrooms surround an atrium type space which allows for both visual and verbal communication between the private and public areas of the home. This helps to encourage connection within the family. The double height windows allow for connection with the outside and additional daylight which is allowed to spread throughout the first and second floors. The children’s rooms share a loft above the closet which provides a tuck away space they can claim as their own. The roof top deck and garden allow for enjoyment of the views and the outdoors for the days when the family is feeling a bit introverted.
- Open plan centered around a “Main Square” (family gathering areas).
- Opening between first and second floor allows for easy communication througout house.
- Dining room operable wall allows the house to fully open to the outside and creates a courtyard; flooring material in this area continues to the outdoor patio to extend the feel.
- A fireplace can easily be included in the living room.
To create more useable space in a minimized master bedroom, storage/closet space is built-in at the far wall; this allows for more options for furniture arrangement and creates a quite getaway via a window seat.
The house is designed to efficiently utilize standard size building materials; the few custom elements which exist create a powerful “punch” in the Main Square.
- All bedrooms open to the family room located on the second level of the Main Square.
- Bedrooms are not oversized to encourage activities to occur in the family public realm.
- Communication easily occurs through the double height space between all areas of the house leading to the ability of parents and children to be in constant contact.
- Translucent doors to the bedrooms allow for the continuation of daylight and openness while maintaining privacy.
- The spiral stair allows access to a green roof over the Main Square continuing ease of access to the outdoors at all levels of the home.
- A lofted area over the closets in bedrooms 2 and 3 (seen in the house sections) creates yet another layer of interaction and overlap in spaces and gives children a special space of their own.
- The house is designed to efficiently utilize standard building materials; staying on a 4’ grid allows for lower costs and creates less waste.
- Siding material is hardie panel and planks; it is sustainable due to recycled content utilized in its manufacture and is local in many areas of the country; it is durable with a 15-50 year warranty; and it requires less maintenance saving on lifetime costs and less damage to the environment via lower paint and cleaning solvent use.
- The envelope is detailed as a “rainscreen” which allows for better control of water intrusion into the home and drastically reduced opportunities for mold leading to cleaner indoor air.
- Plumbing areas are contained within a smaller area of the home allowing for ease of collecting gray water if desired; additionally this reduces the amount of plumbing pipes required saving materials, wasted and cost.
- A heat pump mechanical system provides both heating and cooling; the system can heat the house with minimal use of electricity and can work with limited ducts; heating and cooling can be distributed via forced air; this system is one of the more energy efficient and complete residential systems and is an “off-the-shelf” product.
- Radiant floor heating may be added in specific zones for additional comfort.