Posts Tagged ‘cartoon’

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“… three, two, one, lift off house.”

February 27, 2017

Authors note:  Original article is written for and posted in  Aspire Design and Home.  You might want to check them out, or just read it here.

houserocketfarm-townstreet-facade

Rocket Launch – Since I am already on the subject of houses on hilltops, I might as well take a look at this one.  Something strange happens to ones perception of space when approaching a tall house, up a hill, with pointy gables.   It starts to feel like one is approaching a rocket launch.  The flat facade of the building adds to the effect because there is no intervening element to catch the viewers attention and stop the upward motion.  This is reinforced by the driveway wall which also points, behaving like a one point perspective, drawing the viewer’s eye toward some infinite point on the horizon.

Single Visual Element – A bit of academic analysis clearly gives us to understand that, from a design standpoint, the house in the photo really starts at the street.  It is one with the driveway; a single visual element, dominated by an extremely strong profile, defined by vertical lines which terminate in arrows pointing skyward.  Have you ever driven through a farm town and seen the silos next to a railway?  The only thing missing from the photo of the house under consideration is the train.

Transformation by Decoration – Also worth considering is that rows of tall flat facades, springing directly up from sidewalks, show up in residential buildings in places like Paris, Vienna and New York.  These buildings are transformed, by dint of decoration.  Variations in the size, placement and celebration of openings, add complexity to the extent that one barely realizes they are tall, which begins to suggest that height might be something to cultivate rather than disdain, as I was at first inclined to do.

Why so Awkward – Likewise I am led to ask, if not the height, then why so awkward.  The answer, of course, is that on some level most of us understand that the unity of form and purpose evident in the row house, the silo, and even the rocket is missing in the suburban residence.  We end up with what I call a “fusion tract house,” sporting a garage door, a couple of gables, and the arched part of a “Palladian” window,  all forced into a shape that does not suit.

Architectural Form – If this home owner were my client I would, without going too far into value judgements, simply ask if this tall silhouette is one that he/she would choose to put in a typical suburban neighborhood in “any-town” USA.   If the answer was yes, then I would advise that the homeowner embrace the concept by loosing the “home depot” doors, windows, and finishes in favor of a stark functional version, organized to reinforce the architecture.  If, on the other hand, the answer was “not so much,” I would recommend either a different site or a different architectural form.

Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED Accredited Professionnal practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design and has a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction.  She has many years experience working for well known architects, developers and retailers.  In 2011 she started Gaddis Architect an independent practice in Alexandria, VA.  In addition, Ms. Gaddis has an interest in residential projects and is the author of “Real People Don’t Hire Architects,” a blog about houses.

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Silly Architect

March 14, 2013

Architects like toys too. Sustainable Holiday Home by Tjep.

Don’t laugh!  A lot of architecture projects start out this way.  I wonder if industrial goods, like cars and cell phones, do as well?  The goal of this architect was to mimic product design.  Follow the link to read the article and you will see that he embraced sustainability and portability, not to mention, cute-ability.  Is that a word?  Interesting that the article is entitled “Sustainable Holiday Home” because the house actually looks like it should hang on a Christmas tree.   Imagine the attention it would attract while being towed down the freeway on the back of a flatbed truck?  I wonder about the livability part though, maybe not so much, but who cares when it looks like such fun.

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Biological Concrete Shows Promise for Sustainable Architecture and Creeps Me Out!

February 22, 2013

I am all for sustainability and innovation, especially when they lead to practical solutions to modern day environmental problems.  Sometimes, though, the growing pains are quite literally more than I would be willing to bear.  Honestly, how is this building with yesterdays salad stuck to its elevation any better, or more sustainable than the ivy covered house in the previous post.  I am pretty sure the Ivy absorbs plenty of “atmospheric CO2” and I expect that with a little effort it could be made to grow with abandon on every building in New York City.    Unless I have been mistaken and this is not an attempt at living growing architecture, but really a vertical composting operation.  Innovation or not, it creeps me out.  Give me the Ivy any day.

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Go, go, going, gone green!

February 3, 2013

Ivy House Do 8 legged clients hire 8 legged architects?  I am pretty sure that a lot of 8 legged creatures live here.

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“Frito Bandito” House

August 22, 2012

MLS/Web ID:     2926658

Frito Bandito House,  Sorry for another bad doodle.

One might want to consider the emerging imagery before too literally duplicating each side to form a duplex.  That way at least the eyeballs can be exactly the same size and set far enough apart so that they are not crossed.  Also the addition of a nose would make the house easy to find, allowing residents to tell their friends that they live  in the “Frito Bandito  House.”   Gotta love those micro managers!

Frito Bandito, Creative Commons

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House or catamaran?

January 29, 2012

MLS/Web ID: 206287

In order to  increase the interior living space, many old house owners are tempted to enclose a front porch, an effort that seldom works.  Here the owners worked overtime.  Not only was the porch enclosed, but it double in size,  and centering the new front door only emphasized the offset location of the main house.  It looks like the house was added to the porch,  not the other way around.  I am left to wonder who advises home owners that this type of remodel will net positive results.  For a very small fee a local architect  could have suggested many ways to expand this house that would have netted a very  real gain in property value for the same investment.  Instead we are left wondering if this is a house or a catamaran.

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Silly or sweet?

December 14, 2011

And speaking of vernacular, this would otherwise be a modest but appealing and cared for little  cottage.  Instead,  it has been made into an out of scale cartoon of mixed styles and materials  by some well intentioned property owner with no thought of architects or the services they offer.  A half hour meeting with a local architect might have turned this little house from silly to sweet.