Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Main Floor Plan - A Second Sketch

Originally uploaded by Rob Harrison.
In this sketch of the main floor plan I'm trying to resolve some of the things that didn't work for me with the mud room, wc room and bathing room, as well as developing other parts of the plan.

By the way, if you click on the images, you'll go to my photostream at where you'll be able to see larger versions, which will be easier to read.

Starting from the upper left and working around clockwise... I'm still showing the double-sided fireplace, seating grouping on the inside, patio on the outside. In the middle of sketching I've moved the study nook (a six foot deep by ten foot long alcove, with a long desk, bookshelves and windows on two sides) over to line up with the kitchen. There's enough wall space for a piano. The entry comes out to line up with the study alcove, creating room for a bench. There's a hall closet beside the stairs that lead up to the second floor. The away room has one door directly off the entry, and another into the back hall, allowing easy access to the bath and wc. I imagine this room lined with bookshelves. I've got a big shower and bathtub in the bathing room...but ooops, no sinks yet! WC room is next to the bathing room. I'd kind of like a door to the outside here. Mud room/laundry to the left of the WC room--the back door. This could provide additional pantry space as well. The kitchen will be designed for accessibility, with some storage being only a foot deep going all the way to the floor. So far it's a simple U-shape. I'm trying to keep the number of cabinets down. The kitchen is open to the dining room. The dining room has French doors, allowing the whole table to be brought outside under the porch in summer time. The wall between the dining room and living room does not go all the way to the ceiling, so there will be room for a low buffet there and you can see through.

I'm seeing the optimum orientation for the house as placing the kitchen on the south side. (That is, the long axis of the house running east west.) Dining could also be on the south, which would place kitchen and bath on the east, living and away on the west. (Long axis of the house running north-south.)

The plan still about four feet too long though, to fit easily in either orientation on a 50 x 100 Seattle city lot. That's going to be important if the house is to be successful as a stock plan. Back to the drawing board!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Main Floor - A First Sketch

Originally uploaded by Rob Harrison.
Now, building on that second pass at the Bubble Diagram, I've drawn a rough plan on grid paper. Each square represents four feet. I'm looking at the connections, and thinking about the quality of the spaces. The living area could have a double-sided fireplace as an option, one facing an inglenook on the inside, and one on a patio outside. I've shown a vague area between the living and away rooms that would be a good place for an entry. I've also shown a possible porch off the dining room. The configuration of the bath and wc rooms is unresolved as yet. The house is also quite long.

My two-year old son Rowan is doing his part here too, marking up my sketch with his suggestions in red. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bubble Diagram, Take 2 (or thereabouts)

Originally uploaded by Rob Harrison.
In this next pass at the bubble diagram I've shown (there were others in between!), I've moved the blobs around, with an eye toward fitting it all into a more or less regular shape. I've also started thinking about the way the sun will move around the house.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Bubble Diagram

Originally uploaded by Rob Harrison.

A "bubble diagram" is a tool many architects use in the first phase of the design process, Schematic Design. It's a quick way of diagramming the basic relationships and connections between the rooms or functions of a building. Heavier lines means stronger or more direct connections. It doesn't necessarily translate directly to a floor plan, but it helps clarify which rooms need to be next to which other rooms.

Above we have a first bubble diagram of the main floor of the (More) Affordable Green Home. It shows strong connections between the dining and kitchen, kitchen and mud room/laundry, living and kitchen and dining (all part of the great room). The study nook is connected to the living room. The away room is connected to the living room as well, but not as directly, since after all we want this to be "away." The WC and bathing rooms, on the other hand, need to be near both the mud room and the away room, since the away room will function as an occasional bedroom.