I was inspired this week by a model I created in an early design studio for a boathouse to design this barrel vaulted villa. The villa consists of 5 shells of varying sizes arranged linearly yet staggered and separated to form a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath home. For me, the interesting aspect of this study model was its ability to manifest a view by aligning openings and by varying height to create an unobstructed vista.
Architecture students may be reminded of Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum in Dallas with its liner array of cycloid roofs when they see this project. While Kahn used the barrel vault as a medium to filter and diffuse light through his galleries, my design has more mundane applications for the stretched arches using them as a means of procession to the front door and as a means to shield more private spaces from the street. The spaces in the house are divided by the individual shells to form linear corridors. The dining spaces and second floor bedrooms are located in the 2 story shell with living spaces in shell 2. The foyer and entry colonnade make up the third shell while the 4th shell is split into a guest house and the master bedroom. The opening in this shell allowed for a courtyard pool that guests and owners can enjoy shielded from the street. Openings were created along that axis to create an unobstructed view from one end of the house to the pool. The fifth and final shell contains the master bath. In addition to the guest quarters and bedrooms the house has a study, home theater, ornate dining room with butler’s pantry, three gas fireplaces and an elevator. Parking for at least 3 cars is available in the basement garage which is reached by ramp at the end of the driveway. One of the added benefits of this design is its ability to serve as a great backdrop to art installations. A statue of the thinking man is placed in front of shell 5 while a statue of a lounging lady is perched in the living room overlooking the pool and the lounge pit. I tried to minimize any protrusions through the barrel vaults instead preserving their natural beauty for the home owners to enjoy. Many of the rooms are illuminated by the clerestory windows right below the roof-line.