-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Sunday, November 12, 2006

tweaks to new house plans

We're almost finished now on the plans for the new house. We're just awaiting a few sketches of particular areas, and then it's time to build the model. Yay!

Just so this blog is a complete record of the process, below are extracts from recent emails with Eric.


You'll be pleased to know that we still love the ideas we discussed. There are just three things...

1) after a little more thought I have a slight trepidation about the library 'tower' feeling a bit too formal, cold, arcane, which I think it might if the only things in the upper level of the tower are bookshelves. But, I think that could easily be offset, provided that on one side this is a little area for seating. For example, perhaps we could have a little walk in alcove on one side, which could have seats and a small desk, etc. It doesn't have to be big, but I think it'd make all the difference in feeling in the upstairs space so that it didn't feel like somewhere you just went to get a book and then came straight back down. I'd suggest probably the side that looks into the secret garden area would be best for this, as guessing that will also have a sliver of distance view between the houses(?). I know this would mean we'd lose part of the book storage area, but that's OK, I think there'll still be plenty. What do you think?

I have imagined a little seat interrupting the bookshelves at some point in the upper bookshelf area. I's always nice to have a place to pause and sit with a book. The balcony should be quite open to the library area below. Perhaps once we have some sketches, it will be easier to visualize.

2) the roof of the laundry area... I forgot to mention this when we met, but to my eye it seems to slope oddly in comparison to the other areas. Was there a structural reason for this? Is it possible to alter so it echoes the other rooflines more?

That is true. I have gone back and forth on that roof. Here is the issue. Look at the west elevation. The gable is a 45 degree pitch to match the main house roof. See how it sticks up higher than the main roof over the laundry? On the south elevation, I have shown the ridge of the laundry roof return back into the main to at an angle so that it doesn't show in the courtyard. I did look at other options lie a shallower pitch on the gable over the laundry, but I like the way that the steeper gable re;ates to the main roof, and marks the main entry of the house. We can look at this more closely in the study model.

3) the bay window in the lounge - and I guess related, the shape of the balcony on the upstairs bedroom. I know we've discussed this over and over about whether to keep it with the circular feel or whether to make it more a square bay. And I know we settled at leaving it circular, for reasons I can't recall, which is why I didn't raise it when we met. But every time I look at the house plans, it just niggles at me still, and so I just thought I would flag with you that if you wanted to alter the shape, so that it was a rectangular bay rather than semicircle, to thus echo the boxier shapes of the dormers, the square library tower, the square stairs, etc, I would be very happy with you doing that.

The circular bay window originated in an idea about making the two sides slight different from each other. A square bay window would achieve that as well. I can look at it on the next version of the plans. If we don't like the square version, we can always go back.

No comments: