As I explained in week 8, the project I am chronicling has taken a left turn at the intersection of schematic design and design development. What I mean by that is, I am circling around schematic design again with a different idea instead of proceeding to design development with the previous idea we had. This is a lake house property with a current home within the 100′ setback. The original plan was to build the house they wanted behind the 100′ setback where the rules and regulations are much fewer. However, in the essence of good faith, we are looking at the possibility of renovating the current home instead.
The rules for the current home state that they can increase the square footage up to 1000SF which is significantly more than the 30% rule previously adopted. That makes this option viable. No they can’t have a basement, and no they can’t build that beautiful deep porch that is in the previous design because it would be closer to the water, but there are so many aspects of the program that they can have in this location that it was worth an exploration. So week 9 has been all about research and exploration. I spent the week researching the rules, styles, design aspects. I spent time hand drawing. I know it’s a shock, the days of hand drawing an entire plan set are gone, but the love between the creativity in my brain and the pencil is still strong. I use my hand to formulate a plan, the computer to lay it out, and 3D drawing to convey the idea to the client. I’ve spent too many meetings with disgruntled clients and a plan trying to explain what the plan “looks” like to not enter a meeting with the new form of sketching :3D models. What our forefathers of architecture were able to do with brilliantly detailed sketches, I am able to recreate with 3D drawing. It is all about how it feels because designing a house with an architect is about creating a space that you not only live, but love to live. Hand drawings evoke emotion, you become invested in the image in front of you. The same is true for 3D renderings because you start to “feel” the space come to life. And because my generation spends so much time on the computer, not with a pencil in hand, it is much faster to create a 3D sketch then a beautifully rendered hand drawing. With that being said, I do not show my clients their project by zooming around on my computer screen. Typically I print out several perspectives of their project and even include photos from their lots. Like the masters Green & Green and several architects before and after them, I spend a significant amount of time capturing the view out each window. This is especially important when designing lake houses that are also energy efficient. I want to put in as few windows as possible for energy performance, while at the same time make the house fee like it has a wall of glass with nothing between the client and the lake. I want the house to stretch out into the landscape as if it has always been a part of it. So now it’s time to get back to the research, back to the design, and back to creating another home my clients could love.
Stay tuned in week 10 or 11 for when the client comes back to town and what their thoughts are of the new design! As always, see you next week!