Because many of my recent applications include references to this website, i have decided to feature one of my own works for this first update of the 2012 season. These are my own images, so i have hosted them here at high resolution for your viewing pleasure. Please do not copy, redistribute, or publish these images without my express permission. Do click on the images to view at full size! They're rather hard to read at 550 pixel-widths.
When i work on designs for my own study, i like to give them working titles. This one is the "Santa Fe House" in reference to the prevailing style of adobe construction and flat roofs historically typical to the area. However, this design tends closer to a modernist flair than a pueblo influence.
One of my personal beliefs on design is that concepts must blend at least three source typologies to form a personalized hybrid. First, unavoidably, is the bias of the designer's own upbringing. The remaining two can be any blend of template and highlight. In this case, the highlight is the borrowed idea of an interior courtyard typical of Moorish homes built on the Iberian peninsula (as well as many other areas). The courtyard is constructed at a double height with large quantities of operable clerestory glazing. This allows a flood of light to penetrate all the adjoining rooms regardless of the sun's position.
The light corridor also serves a vital passive cooling role in the house. The large planting bed on the thick north wall captures the harsh daylight sun and provides a large thermal mass that cools during the daytime and warms the home at night. The large, shallow water feature additionally provides evaporative cooling, and the operable windows above allow the hottest air to escape.
All bedrooms and the office are located on the north side of the building, as this is the ideal location for diffused daylight, which provides the best color rendering...which is very important if you care about that kind of thing. The living spaces have been divided into a more formal space typically used for entertaining and a slightly more private family room set 1/4 floor lower.
The more public kitchen area is arranged to allow the increasingly typical dinner party m.o. of chatting with the chef. However, it is also placed at a terminal location of the house to prevent conflicting uses (i.e., corridor space while the cook cooks). A refrigerated space below the bar table is included in this drawing, but could be swapped for additional cupboard space if a client opted for the far more awesome sunken-wine-cooler-staircase. Because of the forgiving climate, an entry area attached to the garage has been omitted, although there is access to the kitchen via the rear garage door.
The upper floor of the home, 3/4 of a floor higher, is dedicated to the master bedroom. A sliding door is provided to create an enclosed space if there is a desire for additional privacy, but is, strictly speaking, unnecessary. A walk-out balcony located above the lower floor is oriented to the west of the house to maximize sunlight in the evening hours when it would typically be occupied. Low glass walls surround the majority of the balcony, but privacy walls extend on either corner to limit the visibility onto the deck.
That's about it -- i'd love to include elevations of this work, but i find AutoCAD rather lacking in rendering visually interesting elevations. In the past i would have used Rhino and either Flamingo or Penguin, but unfortunately my student copy is no longer valid. If there's an angel donor out there that would like to send me a (legal) copy, i'd be incredibly grateful (and surprised! Rhino is way too expensive). Hope you enjoyed this spotlight, and hopefully i'll be back next Tuesday!