Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Co-housing Court

 Ground Floor Plan Common Hall
 Second Floor Plan Common Hall
Site Plan

Creating a small group of residences where neighbors can be supportive of each other is attractive to some people, especially if they are looking at downsizing from their large family homes where they raised their kids. This co-housing concept allows each person or couple to live in the privacy of a stand alone home, in this case the Minimum House Plan 2 seen here. Three residences share a common facility that provides some of the advantages they had in larger homes as well as adding new spaces for activities that might have not been possible before.

The Common Hall has a large central room that opens onto a large covered terrace suitable for hosting large family dinners or celebrations. There is a kitchen and outdoor grill for communal meals among neighbors when wanted.  There is a large laundry room to compensate for the compact laundries in the units.  There is a guest bedroom for out of town visitors or family.  Upstairs there is a media room where TV or movies can be watched as a group.  The room, with it's wrap around couches, can also serve as extra overnight guest sleeping areas, especially for teens or college students.

There are two shared areas for work, art or hobbies.  Upstairs a shared studio-office room can be used by those that work from home.  This provides the advantage of being able to get out of the house and also have meetings with clients that are not in your personal residence. The room has abundant light from high windows making it also attractive as an art studio.  Downstairs there is a large high ceiling room that can be used for more active pursuits such as a shared wood working shop, or sculpture studio, or as an indoor space for working on cars or other things.

To build this complex each household would be investing in 1,072 sf of construction, including their residence and share of common facilities.  This is a way of downsizing with out giving up the large entertaining spaces or guest hosting capabilities, plus having the advantage of being able to live within a supportive group of friends or family making it easier to lead active lifestyles and the possibility to "age in place".

There is a design concept for another co-housing scheme here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Minimum House Plan 2

Building only what is necessary to live comfortably is the intent for this 695 sf house plan.  While most "Tiny Houses" are much smaller, a lot has to be sacrificed in terms of storage and livability.  This design is intended for a couple or single person.  The open living space is apportioned based on the spatial needs of each activity, and not any more.  The Kitchen/Dining area is the largest since that is where most people congregate when entertaining, cooking or eating. The sitting area is compact and intimate for conversation.  The sleeping area is the tightest with more space allocated to abundant closets and storage in the dressing area.  Overnight guests can be accommodated on either banquet with sliding doors providing visual privacy to the bed area.  The bathroom has access from either the bed or guest areas.

A large covered terrace increases not only the usable space within the house but also the visual sense of spaciousness of a very small footprint.  The simple dramatic roof line creates a 12 foot high window wall at the end, opening views to the sky or surrounding trees.  Low band windows are used to create a panoramic view outside while a person is seated - without having to provide so much glass as to compromise energy efficiency.

A carport is used so it can also be utilized as more covered outdoor space.  Storage of that "stuff" which accumulates in a garage can be organized in an adjacent wall of bulk storage closets.

Building small can result in a very comfortable living space.  Building only what is needed saves both personal resources and natural resources.

Another of my Minimum House designs can be seen here.

This design and presentation was done with Archicad 19.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pathways 2

 Lake Marie, Oregon

 Bullards Beach, Oregon
 Castle Rock, Oregon

 Sixes River, Oregon

 Oregon Sand Dunes

 Cape Blanco. Oregon

 Emigrant Lake, Oregon

 Jededai Smith Redwoods, California

  Jededai Smith Redwoods, California

Photographs of pathways or roads receding into the distance beckon you to discover what is around the bend or over the hill.  The same is true designing a site plan or even circulation within a building.  Each path or hall should invite you to explore that which is just out of sight.

More Pathways here.

All photographs taken with an iPhone.  2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Robert Moreland

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Costa Rica House

Design for a house in the Norther Highlands of Costa Rica overlooking Lake Arenal.  The house is on a gently sloping site and is organized around an axis that aligns with the view of the Lake beyond.  Upon entering the courtyard you will be able to see all the way through the house out to the lake.

A large window wall with "Lift and Slide" doors combines the indoor and outdoor living spaces.  The Loggia is sheltered from the prevailing wind by two wings, the kitchen on one side and the client's office on the other side.  Bay windows for a banquet in the kitchen and a large working desk in the office provide stunning views of the Lake and Arenal Volcano.  Terraced planters are used on the downhill side of the house to avoid handrails that would block the view from the main living areas.  A separate building near the entry is a guest Casita that can be converted to a Garage for the client's car when they are not in residence.

Two Bedroom suites are accessed from a covered walkway in the Courtyard for maximum privacy.  Each has a covered outdoor terrace with a view to the lake, as well as private shower courtyards off their bathrooms.