It began easily enough, a simple linear plan with two entrance porticoes per side, opening onto a square central hall with a circular stair its center, flanked by two sitting rooms, all sitting beneath two large deep-eaved hip roofs. But then my love of iterations got the best of me, and I began to chop off the side porticoes, play with roof forms, and open up the central hall into a dogtrot type house. . .
Most of the time, the drawings I post on frame are more complete, polished, and thought out. Often, they are the reworking of previous ideas, or different ways of representing an already designed form. But that is not to say that I never do quicker, rougher, sketches. Indeed, often these early sketches lie buried underneath more ‘finished’ drawings. But today, I thought I’d share a few nascient ideas before they got worked through:
The top drawing began two discussions of halls-and-hearths (here and here); the below sketches reflect some agricultural forms I encountered on a long road-trip; a small cubic ‘house’ with a telescoping tower; another small cubic structure, with a large spire and a funky base condition; and a constructed mesa, a futile and humble attempt to capture the grandeur of those immense landforms (and not wholly unalike Hans Hollein’s landscrapers).
I’ll be featuring the rest of the house from which this small detail stems tomorrow, but here’s a small tidbit – a foyer or entry hall that is not quite a true octagon, due to the geometries at play in the larger plan. Different ceiling options follow, where the first attempts to regulate the whole in a ribbed ‘melon’ dome, the second highlights the four cardinal direction in a circular vault, and the third treats those as flat panels.
Juxtapositions: the first square is further development of a project I featured some time ago, where the square is the internal volume (indeed cubic in it’s section), but flanked on two ends with large masonry walls that curve in to the entrances, and again to form corner towers, while opening to full-height glazed opening on the sides. The second square is a study of differing systems, where the primary axis is four-square, and the secondary is nine-square, all topped with a shallow central dome.
This small hall type has a basket-weave brick floor, the roof supported on pipe columns that float free of the brick walls. The exterior corners are Mies-inspired, while the window treatments are a take on Richardson’s Sever Hall at Harvard. Details of that window system are below: elevation/section, axon of the base, worm’s eye of the head. I owe you roof-ceiling information – but the question remains, bow truss or hammer beam? Or something altogether different?