02A: Site Context — Man and Natural Influence

site_viewstudyGetting to know a person can be easy. You sit down, share a cup of your favorite brew and ask questions. Almost effortlessly, you discover similarities. It might be something physical you notice immediately like height, eye color or hair color (whether bottled or bald). But as you converse, you learn about unique hobbies, interests or values that define the person. The inquisitive dialog is how you become acquainted with each other. That’s how I spend the first part of home design — getting to know the family. But in getting to know the site, I engage in a very different type of dialog. Continue reading

01F: Flow Diagrams — Lifestyle Locomotion

flowsIt’s been said dog is man’s best friend. My dog has been a good loyal friend for 16 years. Over time, she’s astutely observed certain family rituals and developed a programmed response. Our lives are exciting, but there’s a certain amount of repetition in everyone’s life whether we choose to recognize it or not. In fact, dogs recognize patterns better than we do. If you don’t believe me, jingle your keys or put on shoes and a hat. The dog quickly recognizes it’s time to go and will meet you at the door. It makes me think dogs would make better architects than people because recognizing and responding to patterns is one of many necessary traits to be a good architect. Continue reading

01E: Area Calculations — How Much Space Do We Need?

area_calcHow do you know when enough is enough? That’s the question we asked when we calculated how much space we need. One of our design goals is “Our home should feel big (ample) without being big (oversized). Size and layout will satisfy our basic requirements and appeal to our spatial desires“. Too often, homeowners fixate on a square footage either because they believe they need more space or they want to compete with the neighbors. The result is an overbuilt home that wastes natural and financial resources. Continue reading