In the book, "Frank Lloyd Wright: His Living Voice", with commentary by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, there is a design problem included that Mr. Wright tackled himself and gave to his Fellowship students regarding "Constructing the One Room House". Mr. Wright says that basically a house is essentially one room anyway, with small sleeping quarters. He said he was striving to achieve this sense of unity and spaciousness in "one room" in his own work. He set the requirement at a 36'x36' house and wanted to turn out a one room house for $5,000 (this was in 1954).
I've been intrigued and inspired by this design problem - and due to the current, popular design idea of the "open plan" (invented by Mr. Wright by the way) being expended upon by way of Kitchen/Dining/Living now being one, we are almost there. My other favorite architect, Mies Van der Rohe, also explored this design concept vigorously in what he called "Universal Space" (see his work below).
The beauty of this open plan, universal space design concept, is that it provides flexible, free-flowing space for an ever-changing world and time. The trick is, and even Frank Lloyd Wright admitted it could get complicated with a big family, is how to provide Bed "Room" decency and privacy. Below is my humble attempt at the one room house design problem (Note: I did not stick to the 36'x36' parameter - I didn't know about those dimensions until after I had designed this plan).
The basic design ideas/goals (and most are for cost savings) are listed below:
A. Eliminate as many walls as possible while maintaining structural integrity.
B. Porte-Cochere or carport instead of garage.
C. Exposed concrete floor slab as the finished floor.
D. Flowing indoor/outdoor relationship to expand space.
E. Fixed plumbing "rooms" as features in space to delineate different functions.
F. Kitchen is always the center, heart of the home for visibility & connection to all. (Note: Kitchen island seating is rotated 90 degrees for better views instead of backs facing view).
G. Furniture and landscaping would be integral to overall design.
I'm not sure if I passed or failed, but my hope is to have participated in new design thinking and contributed to the discussion
Inspiration for a Commercial Tenant Improvement Project
Cost-Saving Design Tips for Your New Home or Remodel
Beyond the Box - Time for a New Architecture
A new design/building idea has been simmering in my head for years, and I'm excited to finally present it, at least in model form. This idea is to free us from living in small boxes within bigger boxes, thus liberating us from running like mice inside labryinths we call "houses" or "office buildings".
Idea for a New Skyscraper
I had to purge my brain of this skyscraper idea I've had for years! The idea is to honestly express the true nature of all skyscrapers, which is that they are all a series of stacked, horizontal floor plates. So, why not express the horizontal?! Most if not all skyscrapers try to accentuate the vertical. But, the building is already vertical by it's very height in relation to everything else around it. Maybe they're expressing the vertical circulation (elevators, stairs)?
I like the idea and look of the floors expressed as "trays", with the glass line recessed, thus the floors creating shading (we do still need to solve the pigeon issue!). The building could be "planted" like a tree, operating with "green", sustainable ammenities and beautifying its site. And why are most skyscrapers the same drab colors (silver, gray, or just inane glass boxes)? Michael Graves' Portland Building is full of color and an amazing relief from the buildings around it (http://www.michaelgraves.com/). I imagine my building with very light cream color concrete floors and dark bronze-colored window mullions.
The Lobby level of this skyscraper could house a coffee/snack bar or other small retail shop. Maybe it could transform into a small art gallery or reception space for the public's use! The 1st floor above the Lobby could be a restaurant/cafe'/conference level open to the public, with access to a balcony provided with trees/planters, etc. as shown. Toward the top of the tower there could maybe be a penthouse level or more private conference areas with access to a balcony and more trees. At the top could be an observation deck (more shade trees) for the building's occupants and the public, with the service core expressively protruding out the top, capped by a communications tower! The building could be multi-functional for a variety of uses by many different people - office, conference, reception, tourism, dining, retail, gallery/exhibition, etc. This would help keep the occupancy rate high and increase it's popularity! Anyway, had to get it out there. If interested, please contact me. On to other ideas/projects/musing!