Residential Design – English Country Estate


It has been awhile since I posted a new design so without further adieu here it is. This castle like structure is a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath home with every feature under the sun. I took my inspiration from the work of H.H. Richardson’s libraries using his Crane Library specifically to guide the massing of the house.

Crane Library – H.H. Richardson

I also researched the common features in old English homes and attempted to incorporate as many of those details as well. Such features as a Great Hall and a Folly, a Greek building facade not unlike a set piece that became popular in the mid 1700s with a resurgence of interest in all things Greek. These Follies were placed on the grounds of the estate and served as conversation pieces and locations for events and parties.
Example of a Folly
With parties in mind, this house offers a large living room, billiards room, massive dining hall with its own minstrels’ gallery overlooking the dining room, wine cellar, library and extensive grounds all to entertain the perspective guest. Below are plans and photos of the property.

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Residential Project – From the Files

North Elevation

Hello readers,
It has been a while since I last posted, but don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about you. This design is a smaller version of my Turret House featured on my old blog that I never got around to publishing until now. It is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath brick house with a 2 car garage and fenced in yard. The house is designed to please the music lover in the family with a special piano alcove in the living room for all of those recitals that you either dreaded or loved. In addition to the piano alcove there is a rear patio with pergola off the living room for enjoying those hot summer days and a covered garden porch for tending plants in the fall.

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Residential Design – The Artist’s Home & Gallery

Hello again readers,

This week a house created using circles. Throughout history there have only been a handful of circle based designs that achieved notoriety. The pithy of circle homes comes from the fact that the shape is difficult to construct and costly to build. The most famous circle building in Architectural history being the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. I designed this circle house for a successful artist who wanted a home and a place to exhibit his work. Along with the gallery space, the main house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths with a 2 car garage. My design joins the 2 circles with an octagonal foyer so that the footprint resembles a pair of glasses.

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Residential Project – Mitre House

This design was heavily influenced by a retreat in Spain, called the Cordoba House. The retreat was designed by Emilio Ambasz as a place of meditation and reflection. The signature element of the house being two tall walls that create enclosure as well as supporting an observation deck at the top of twin staircases. This simple design decision created arguably one of the best architectural projects that I have seen to date. Even more remarkable is the fact that the house was designed in the 1975, yet this still looks amazingly timeless and fresh.

The Cordoba House, Cordoba, Spain

The creation of a corner is so basic yet so powerful. Inspired by the corner and its enclosing effect, I opted to create the opposite effect by opening up the corner which created an entry point while at the same time articulating a mortise and tenon effect in the walls which created windows for my design. The two corner walls resulted in a building footprint similar to a piece of pie.

Arriving at the house, one descends a short flight of stairs to the basement entrance. Once inside you begin your ascent up into the house via a grand stairwell or if you are lazy you can take the elevator. All living spaces are on the second floor with bedrooms on the third floor. The house has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths with a basement garage. All of the bedrooms are placed around a central rotunda, with an occulus opening onto the living room below.

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Residential Design – Climbing the Mountain

To celebrate Independence Day here is my latest design. This modern house shaped like the Price is Right game Cliffhangers is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home with a 2-car garage and attached screen porch. Cool features include a Juliet balcony looking down on the living room and an expansive deck off of the master bedroom. I will often sketch out a plan and then model it if I feel it has potential. Below you can see the original sketch and compare it with the final product. Happy climbing.

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Residential Project – Waterwheel House

This design was based around the desire to incorporate a water wheel, ramp, and a skylight into a house. The skylight and water wheel made it in, the ramp got chucked. This design is sited adjacent to a fast flowing brook making hydo-power generation possible. This 3 bedroom 2.5 bath house with attached 2 car garage features soaring ceilings in the main living spaces and views of the water wheel from the dining room. An adjacent bluestone patio off the living room offers plenty of outdoor living opportunities with its built-in grill. Another added bonus is the inclusion of a laundry chute to eliminate carrying clothes downstairs to the laundry facilities. Below are photos and plans for this watery design.

Design Gallery

Residential Project – Fun in Finland

Hello again readers,
It has been a while since I created a new design, so without further adieu here it is. I titled this project Fun in Finland as the house uses many of the design principles and forms of Finish architect Alvar Aalto, whose work was recently featured in the rotating photo album on the site. Aalto was best known for his libraries, municipal buildings (i.e. town halls) and concert halls. In his later years he was a professor at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. This brick complex is a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath residence with a 2 car garage and a separate home office adjacent to the house complete with separate entrance and guest parking for customers. The design reflects the pulling apart of two forms that could have been previously joined. In between the 2 forms is a rock garden that forms a contemplative courtyard for arriving guest to the house or the office. In true architectural form, the window pattern mimics the symbol for a pocket door. In addition to the office space, the house also features a green roof above the garage. Access to the roof garden is through the kitchen or the living area making the green roof the ideal location for a home vegetable garden. There is also a special meditation space above the master bedroom that could be used as a study or just a place to relax and unwind. This house uses a series of ramps to traverse the 3 floors of the house instead of traditional staircases. Feel free to comment as usual.

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Residential Project – Rocky Mountain High

This week I present a house set in Colorado. The house is clad in a rusting steel that matches the rust colored plains that lead into the Rocky Mountains while the front windows are covered with a series of punched holed steel panels that diffuse the light into the house and provide privacy. The views are what this house is all about. The master bedroom looks out over the mountain range while one of the smaller bedrooms offers views from an expansive deck. A tread only stair leads up to the roof deck for the greatest view of all. The house has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, along with a swimming pool with outdoor shower and an enclosed carport. The house also has a separate study and home gym. If that wasn’t enough, the house uses ramps to facilitate circulation through the different levels on the ground floor so it would work for someone who has difficulty with stairs.

Image Gallery with Plans

40B Development Project – Community Development & Affordable Housing

This week I created what is called a 40B development project, which is a housing scheme that combines affordable and market rate housing together in one property. Cities and towns will often give preference to these types of projects as they are perceived as helping the less affluent into housing in an area that is normally out of their reach. My project consists of a two-unit complex with a shared parking garage. The affordable unit is a 1-bedroom/1-bath single floor apartment. This unit works well for the elderly/disabled as there are no stairs to climb and could be made handicapped accessible with few modifications. The affordable 1 bedroom features a unique oval-shaped courtyard that brings nature indoors while making the space appear larger and more open from all angles. The apartment has a fenced in yard and an extensive porch for enjoying the outdoors.

The deluxe market rate apartment is a 2 bedroom/2.5 bath luxury penthouse. Features include garage space, a lap pool, private deck off the master bedroom, massive dressing room and master bath, eat-in kitchen with separate dining room, a 2 story living room with a mid-century Gyro-focus fireplace and floor to ceiling views of city, and a separate media room/study. This apartment spans two floors and can be designed with or without an elevator.

In addition to creating affordable housing, my development project also created a small community center to serve the local community. The center offers exercise equipment, a climbing wall, pool tables, a juice/coffee bar, and free wi-fi access to its patrons. There is also a basement function space for events.

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Residential Project – Where the Desert Meets the Sea

Hello viewers,

Welcome to my new blog. For my inaugural post I present this design. I was inspired by a project I saw recently featured on ArchDaily’s site for a housing development in Peru. The locale, vista and scenery were really breathtaking. The site was profiled in the video shown below. The four house complex called W Houses located in CaƱete, Peru was designed by Barclay & Crousse architects.

The setting more than the housing was what I found inspiring. So I created my own design to be placed along side the Peru project. My greatest difficulty with this design was trying to figure out the materiality for the building. I tried many different materials ultimately choosing a stucco and sandstone combination that matched the red earthy desert. The photo below is one of my material test cases.

The house itself is a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath house with a swimming pool, decks, and a 2-car carport. Given the arid location, no grass was planted on the site and arid plantings were chosen that were drought tolerant. The house wraps around to form a courtyard which opens onto the swimming pool with views of the ocean in the distance.

Below are photos of the inside with the plans