Archive for May, 2009

House design

Its been some time since our last house posting. The current design came together back in March and I’ve been tweaking it for a while.

The massing shows a primary box shape that holds the study, dining, hallway, stairs, and bath on the first floor. The second floor contains the bedroom and office. The front attached volume is the living room which steps down the hill a bit, and the second attached volume is the kitchen. The back shed volume is mostly storage and shares space with the entry and dining.

All living spaces face south, storage to the north, and a strip of circulation is sandwiched between.

The long side of the house is oriented due south for maximum sun exposure in the winter. Overhangs provide shade in the summer. Lots of south-facing roof surface for solar hot water and voltaics. Attaching the living, kitchen and storage areas helps give the volume a rambling roof line and varied ceiling heights and spaces. The masonry heater intersects the study and circulation space and provides a centrally located heat source.

In past versions the location of the masonry heater and entry always seemed forced and unresolved. The current design seems to accommodate the program well, but the entry space is still not optimal. Its really the slope of the land that makes the position awkward. And we really won’t know how to best resolve this until we know for sure how far up the slope we can position the house and where the driveway will finally sit.

So back to surveying…


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