I'm a medical, dental and general office designer and a passionate architect about other personal/professional interests relating to residential design, Frank Lloyd Wright, "Optimista" (our own home), design ideas, furniture design and miscellaneous articles on life, etc.
"Architecture is the choreography of life."
Cabin in the Country
Fredericktown, Missouri, USA 1-14-28
This modest 3 bed, 2 bath custom cabin/art studio was designed for a teacher/artist couple on several acres of farm/horse property in Fredericktown, Missouri. The home is based on the principles of "New Integral" Architecture (see post "Design Principles of New Integral Architecture" dated 1-14-28 below), a new design "style" I have recently been formulating and refining. There is definitely an influence from Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian homes, as well as Fay jones, Alden Dow, Richard Neutra, Eichler homes, and mid-century modern. Much of the interior furniture would be designed by me to appear "built-in" but still be movable. There are lots of shelves, counters, and wall space to display numerous art pieces created by the Clients themselves. Terraces invite outdoor communing with a fire pit, fountain, and ledges for the Client's sculpture.
The 4-foot module design consists of exposed wood post & beam construction w/ a stone base and Hardie Panel and batten siding, glass, concrete and standing seam metal roof (all of which are both inside & out!) to metaphorically give a sense of living in and among the tress pervading the site.
The exposed, stained concrete floor is 2 feet above grade w/ no basement to address frequent flooding. A curved outdoor seating wall also diverts water runoff from a hill away from the home.
Sustainable design features include passive solar design/orientation, solar panel garden, and a rainwater collection cistern. The home also features Universal design as the Clients age, with 3 foot wide doors, single-level, and ramps to help traverse the 2-foot elevation rise.
Client Letter Regarding the Design:
"We were so excited to open our gift plans for the house of a lifetime! Every last detail -- cats, dogs, birds, sculpture, was included, and the design is devine. I love the windows in large quantity facing south, the rock wall/stone fireplace, and the solar garden. There is so much that you considered, making it all logically perfect!"
Design Principles of "New Integral" Architecture 1-14-28 (Principles created by Colin Edward Slais, Architect)
Simplicity throughout – Form, structure,
systems – use of structural grid.
Clarity/Honesty – Clear, honest expression of
function, systems, materials and structure (use of cantilever as appropriate).
Functionality, Stability and Beauty
– a belief in “Commodity, Firmness, Delight” – Vitruvius.
Integral Design Inside &
Out – Systems,
materials, details, motifs, patterns, metaphor, furniture, colors all
Indoor/Outdoor Relationship – Seamless transition between
inside & outside - direct connection between the two.
Universality – Flexibility, adaptability,
changeability, expandability. “Universal Design” for advanced age as
Color – From natural materials
themselves, from the site/nature as well as Client’s favorite color –
informed, natural, not arbitrary.
Relation to Nature – Inspired by/expressive of an
understanding & love of nature, stars/sun/moon – adapts to it like a
living organism for the comfort of life in and out.
Site Specific – Harmonious w/ site in
location, layout, orientation, materials, colors, climate, views, Client
Life Priority – Human and pet scale,
proportions, needs – supports life inside and out.
Sustainability – Passive solar, conservation
Screen Walls – Walls “slide” through space
as acoustic, visual & structural screens
defining space, not confining.
Balance of Contrasts – Soft/hard, straight/curved,
light/shade, horizontal/vertical, yin/yang.
Work of Art – Expressive as a complete
work of art lifting the spirit.
Timeless – Though of its time, still
ageless & respected by its universality, purity, logic, connection to
Freedom – Free from “handcuffs” of
past styles/historical references, but rather more representative of true
Creativity – Creative & unique design
solutions and use of materials.
Sense of Shelter – Broad overhangs provide
protection from elements.