Architect 2d and the Usonian Expert (sounds like a good name for a techno-jazz duo, doesn’t it?) sent us reworked (and more detailed) adjacency and massing schematics late last week. There are two realizations: Schematic Plan A and Schematic Plan B. And they both look mighty fine! We were expecting Plan A based on discussions from our last meeting and, although we were expecting a Plan B based on those discussions, it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. And that was a good thing.
Plan A (~2,000 square feet) is a fleshing out of Scheme 1A from the initial adjacency and massing exercise. The floorplan is more refined, including a peek onto the second floor, and we see the rudiments of the relation of the house to the surrounding landscape. Mucho cool is the 3D rendering of the house to give us a sense of what the street presence might look like.
Plan B (~2,300 square feet) is kind of a Frankenstein’s monster of Scheme 1A and Scheme 2 with a few new parts-is-parts thrown in. And it is gorgeous! We like both Plan A and Plan B, but we really, really (really) like Plan B.
How doth we like you, Plan B? Let us count the ways:
- the gorgeous street presence (kinda love everything about it),
- the cantilevered carport (holy crap that’s cool!),
- the overhangs (slim-shady),
- the “protected” back yard (as opposed to Plan A, which would make nude bar-b-queing challenging…),
- the office (bonus room!),
- the cornerish window (gives the cornerish hens something to look out of…),
- the self-standing “privacy” walls (Miesian?), and
- the entry sequence (we prefer side entrances but this front entrance is done really well).
Although fitting in with the neighborhood isn’t a requirement with us (bring on the architectural interventions!), this design fits in better with the ‘hood than the others. Another plus.
Not all is well in B-ville: We have some minor concerns:
- the layout of the kitchen (my bride prefers a barrier between her and the hungry hordes),
- the location of the mudroom and master closet (they may have to go there for a number of architectural reasons, but they seem like they may be better as part of the main body of the house inasfar as the rest of the house relates to the courtyard),
- access to the back of the lot (In an ideal world, we could leave the courtyard open to the front of the property, but this is not an ideal world. In our previous house, anytime we left the side gate open there was a 50 percent chance someone would be in the back yard up to no good. And that’s not hyperbole talking…),
- color (intrigued by the tan; not sure about the green [which may be intended to send that part of the building into the background]),
- mechanicals (where do the mechanicals go?),
- the size of the master closet (the bride frowns),
- cost (sadly, cool = expensive; looks like some steel work in there [not that some steel couldn’t fit in the budget]), and
- the Porsche in 2D changing into a Karmann Ghia in 3D (a secret message about the future of the Euro?).
All in all (except for cost and the Karmann Ghia) these are minor (and probably premature) concerns, especially at this point. Next steps include refining Plan B, schematic design (floor plans and elevations), and estimating cost. Still a lot to do.