>A Pattern Language (theory 4)

>A pattern Language was an incredibly interesting reading.  Ideas the make for a pleasant space are identified and reasoning for them explained.  For the St Mary’s house writers retreat I feel there are two major issues to deal with.  First is how to deal with public/vs private space and secondly, how to get an abundance of natural light into the rooms.  With these ideas in mind I plan to utilize the following ideas from the reading:

Intimacy Gradient – Short Passages – Indoor Sunlight

Intimacy gradient is the greatest challenge in the space.  How do you create a very public space, combine that with a semi-public space, combine that with a private space, and combine that with an intimate private space, such as a bedroom.  Utilizing an intimacy gradient will create suggested or inferred lineation between these spaces.  Arranging the space sot that the public spaces are on the outer fringe and the closer you get to the inside the more private the space becomes.  In the space that I am designing there will be a public office at the front and a public reading room at the rear.  The public reading room can be completely closed off from the private space with a door.  I feel this is necessary to protect the private from the most public area.  The office will have space for a conference table and a writing desk and will link to the living space of the house through a bookcase lined corridor.  The bedroom, one of the most intimate spaces is only accessible through the living room and the private bathroom accessible through he private bedroom.  This arrangement creates this privacy gradient and separates the most intimate spaces.

The idea of short passages is a way for me to create an intimate welcoming space.  Along the west wall, the wall with the fireplace, the passage is created.  The awkward placement of the windows aligns them between rooms that have been created.  This is somewhat deliberate in a way to share light between all the rooms.  I propose to build built in book cases along the majority of the west wall and to incorporate large window seats under the two windows.  These would act as a reflection space.  One between the office and living room and one between the living room and kitchen.  This instillation allows for the creation of short passages that are full of interest and are functional.  They are not just a hall that is wasted space, they provide storage and extra seating as well.

Indoor sunlight is a huge issue in the space.  The front of the structure faces south and has an attached porch which limits the light that can enter.  The east side has three large windows that open to a wooded area.  The same is true for the north side of the structure, all windows face a wooded area.  The only good source for light is on the west wall, where there are only three windows, which are awkwardly placed.  To solve this issue I plan to keep most of the west wall open, or without division or closed off rooms.  This will allow the office, living, dining, and kitchen to all share the light from this side of the house.  I also am proposing the addition of three skylights in the roof on the east side.  Here they can introduce an abundance of filtered light and not be visible from the street to satisfy historic code requirements. 

These three ideas will create a welcoming and functional space while preserving the historic nature of the building.  Intimate spaces, large gathering spaces, comfortable living quarters unite here to provide the perfect writers retreat for any writer.

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