Friday, July 25, 2008

Design Updates: Volume 1


Well, we've been in the construction documents phase for some time now and have lots of little updates to the home design as a result. Updates often result from my brother finding a problem while doing the detailed design and needing a solution, or sometimes design updates have come from selecting interior materials and details. It would be way too painful for you readers to try and read a "Brendan-post" that tries to pack all of these updates into one loooooong commentary, so I think it's probably best to do it in bight-sized chunks. This is design update, volume 1.

Symmetrical exterior windows beget interior rearrangements

You probably all remember this rendering of the exterior of the home that my brother did some time back:
On the main facade, there are three sets of three windows on the bottom level (with the middle set including the front door). These three sets of windows align directly below the three windows on the upper level. Sounds great, but one problem: this doesn't exactly work well with the interior of the home. The symmetry is lost due to the placement of the rooms. See below (click to enlarge).
See how the set of windows in the dining room is off-center with the axis of the room? The set of windows in the school room is also off-center, but we all agreed this was not really a concern as much as the dining room. With the size of our family there will be a nice-sized dining table in that room that will be long and centered, and there should be a sightline straight through the room on both sides or it will seem a little weird. So, my brother set about finding a correction to this. Here's his solution (click to enlarge).
There's a bunch of things going on here. The biggest change is that the bathroom and closet have switched to the North side of the foyer instead of the South. No problem, it doesn't change anything functionally or aesthetically. Secondly, the windows have been shifted into different positions slightly on facade. Thirdly, the sets of windows have been more defined, with the center window being operable (a key requirement of mine so that we can take advantage of cross-ventilation in the summer) as a casement window, and it's also larger than the windows on either side in order to be more symmetric with respect to the front entrance (where the door is in the center). Here's how that looks on the exterior (windows on upper level not shown):
One item to note is that my brother showed the windows rotating inward, but we would change this to be outward. You don't want the windows rotated and sticking into the interior space of the home itself, that's just asking for Aidan to either A) hang off of them with his full weight, like some sort of primate, or B) run smack into them while running as fast as he can and looking backwards at the same time (a frequent occurrence with walls already).

The set of three windows in the school room is still off-center (just in a different position) but, again, this doesn't bother us as much as it would have in the dining room. It might even be better for keeping the sun out of people's eyes while trying to do school work.

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