Something interesting today – A shallow gabled house sandwiched between two oversized hemispherical porches, with large conical roofs above. The house itself is clad in clapboard, while the porches are colonnaded and shingled. A tall lantern caps the central volume to bring light into an otherwise dim space. The house itself is divided into a cubic central dining room, with a kitchen/bathing alcove to one side and a sleeping alcove to the other, while the expansive porches are intended to be the primary ‘living rooms’. Elevations and axonometrics below.
As a part of my Christmas traditions, my family and I spend a weekend in the mountains here in Southern California, where we can play ‘winter’ and ‘snow’ and safely return to our warm weather when our fingers are sufficiently numb. The so-called ‘cabins’ we stay in are often over-sized log mansions, and kitschy as can be expected.
This project is an answer to them: a simple nine-square plan with a central courtyard, and a circular infinity-edge spa at the middle; the kitchen-dining-living trio lines the north edge, with sliding glass walls fronting a supposed lake view; and private sleeping quarters located on the lower level.
Continuing my exploration of rural agricultural form, this square cabin-like-structure plays on ideas of symmetry, complete and incomplete form, nine-square and four-square planning, all within the guise of simple vernacular architecture. The side elevation was the generator, with an overall symmetrical gable, infilled below with a colonnade on one end, a blank wall on the other, and a large picture window on center. The plan operates between the three bays of this side elevation and four running perpendicular, with a long vaulted living-sleeping room flanked by the porch-colonnade on one end and a long kitchen-toilet-service gallery opposite. A study of potentially running a barrel vaulted ceiling the length of the main living hall is at the bottom.
Or not. Maybe just a hut then. A four-square hut. With a porch on one side and a matching sleeping alcove on the other. And a single wood stove. A small kitchenette as well. And plenty of bookshelves. Or maybe a different roof altogether in place of the four gables? An inverted butterfly perhaps? I think so. Much more interesting than the bucolic nonchalance of that first drawing.
Continuing last week‘s Californian agricultural experiments, this small structure (which I’m titling a ‘cabin’, but really is a programless form) is square in plan with a pitched roof running in one direction, terminating in a dutch gable at the far end over a colonnaded porch and a large circular window in the gable face, and cantilevering over the entry portico, where two identical doors reference the four-square floor plan. The language owes much to Richardson, filtered through the vernacular, with a shingle roof, clapboard walls, and a flemish bond brick base.
Following up on two themes from my northward journey, I’m giving you a look into two ideas, both alike in simplicity. The Coast: a cabin, square with a large hip roof over a wrap-around porch, and elevations that need a good fleshing out. Farmland: a barn, with deep eaves on three sides, enclosed in glass behind.
Diagonally symmetrical, this small cabin type is a riff on the minimal, mid-century cabin we spent a week in on the Oregon coast. The plan is four-square, with the living room occupying one corner, fully glazed, with the hearth as a corner-focused object: this is a direct quote of our cabin, down to the thin-gauge blackened steel hearth. The rest of the plan stems from this single move, with the circular stair opposite, a study and kitchen flanking. The roof runs a single gable along the diagonal toward the living room, but tapers back into a typical hip for the two other facades.