I normally like to post a number of drawings of the same project together, but I’ve been backlogged with scanning in some of my sketchbooks. Excuses aside, here’s a plan. A courtyard plan. Another courtyard plan: square court in a square volume, off-center to allow for a variety in the sizes of the surrounding rooms, but on axis from the entry to the rear porch. Large modern floor-to-ceiling windows paired against vernacular hipped roofs. Elevations, sections, and details forthcoming. Ti promeso.
Most of the time, the drawings I post on frame are more complete, polished, and thought out. Often, they are the reworking of previous ideas, or different ways of representing an already designed form. But that is not to say that I never do quicker, rougher, sketches. Indeed, often these early sketches lie buried underneath more ‘finished’ drawings. But today, I thought I’d share a few nascient ideas before they got worked through:
The top drawing began two discussions of halls-and-hearths (here and here); the below sketches reflect some agricultural forms I encountered on a long road-trip; a small cubic ‘house’ with a telescoping tower; another small cubic structure, with a large spire and a funky base condition; and a constructed mesa, a futile and humble attempt to capture the grandeur of those immense landforms (and not wholly unalike Hans Hollein’s landscrapers).
Today’s post is super simple: square house with notched out corners and a circular impluvium in the center. Hints of Louis I. Kahn’s Goldenberg Residence prevail, set against Mies-ian open planning.
Following the last post, this long hall also features two heaths, though here they’re in the form of the modernist cone fireplaces popular in the 60’s, and are placed along the length of the structure rather than at its ends. The most defining characteristic of this project though are the long roof rafters that are extended past the walls but without carrying any projecting eave of the roof itself. This was taken from a derelict barn building I drove past over the winter break, where the eaves had been completely bereft of their roofing, leaving only bare joists.
My apologies for a lack of posting in recent months, between the holidays and another licensing exam, my drawing and posting output has been admittedly underwhelming.
But enough of that. This is a long, gabled hall with a large hearth dominating the principal axis and full-height windows along the middle, topped with a square pyramidal skylight set at a diagonal. Entry is by low porches at either end, flanking the hearths. Formally, this takes influence from the main dining room at Charles Whittlesey’s El Tovar hotel along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, where my wife and I enjoyed a Boxing Day brunch. My own predilection for Mies-ian staircases, the diagonally-placed skylight, and the half-round dormer windows make it worthy of a post on frame. Elevations follow.
As a part of my Christmas traditions, my family and I spend a weekend in the mountains here in Southern California, where we can play ‘winter’ and ‘snow’ and safely return to our warm weather when our fingers are sufficiently numb. The so-called ‘cabins’ we stay in are often over-sized log mansions, and kitschy as can be expected.
This project is an answer to them: a simple nine-square plan with a central courtyard, and a circular infinity-edge spa at the middle; the kitchen-dining-living trio lines the north edge, with sliding glass walls fronting a supposed lake view; and private sleeping quarters located on the lower level.
Continuing the formal explorations of the German hallenkirche typology of a few weeks ago, today I’ll share some more detailed takes: from a traditional half plan and section to oblique wormseye axonometrics and a section of the Brunelleschi-esque cupola with half a traditional oblique axon on one side and a womseye axon on the other. These interrogations of representation are not just fun to draw, but actually aid in figuring out exactly how the timber roof is made up, and how that roof relates to the overall modular system.
While studying for my latest licensure exam, I came across a simple section of a ranch-style home, which I couldn’t resist but take stab at. The hearth above is the result of that drawing, and the plans below are the further explorations thereof. The floorplan references Mies’ linear homes of the mid 1950’s (McCormick, 1952 & Greenwald, 1955), with a linear series of kitchen, dining, and living spaces separated by casework storage and toilet units, while long porches flank full-height doors. Because my first plan neglected to include the bathroom in particular, the bottom sketch notes how the bath, murphy bed, and storage unit works out.
The story of where these ideas come from is a hodgepodge, so let’s just talk about what this is: a circular atrium in the middle of a nine-square plan demarcated with Corbusian piloti-cum-columns, with its four corners filled with circles: two circles are set up as objects, while two others are strung together with a larger radius. All of this sits below a blank square volume, continuing the allusion to Villa Savoy, with a strong gable at the roof line.
Take last week’s modern courtyard, put it on a diagonal axis, and wrap the corner ‘L’ volume in a reduced vernacular language and this is what you get.