at home with an arcade

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There’s a single family house in my neighborhood that was at one time wrapped in a deep arcade.  Though rotting and falling apart (and no doubt unpermitted), the regular rhythm of the arches masks the asymmetrically placed windows and doors behind.  I tied this with Irving Gill’s Oceanside City Hall of 1934 (also here), which uses an arcade in a similar fashion, to regularize an otherwise syncopated facade.

Today’s project takes Gill’s more refined use of the arcade and applies it to the single family home, a typical, asymmetrical, single story, home not unlike many here in Southern California (and indeed in many suburban neighborhoods).  This results in some interesting conditions, with some occupied spaces pushed right up behind the arcade while leaving shallow porches elsewhere, and even enclosing a small garden within its bounds.

The options below take the same floor plan of above, but add a second floor, positioning the arcade proper against taller volumes behind.

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bridges, covered

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Oregon has a large number of covered bridges, where the wood trusses had to be protected from the persistent damp and subsequent rot and failure.  These are simple, rectangular, white clapboard (or board & batten) gabled ‘houses’, concealing impressive, large-scale Howe trusses inside.  I find engineered structures to have a brutal beauty, especially those of the early 20th Century, and often believe the Historic American Engineering Record to be much more fascinating than its architectural counterpart.  These covered bridges offer a wonderful contrast between the utilitarian trussed interiors and the domestic exterior form.  There might just be another project somewhere in there. . .

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