Category Archives: IAR 102

Field Trip

Images from our trip to Poplar forest, Montpelier, Monticello, and Falling Water.

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>Sketches and Renderings from Class

>I thought I would take the opportunity to upload some images of renderings and observational sketches from the fast semester. I started working a lot with pen rather than pencil and really enjoy the results that have occurred.

Comparison between Falling Water and Monticello.  Exterior.  Plan.  Materials, interior floor and exterior surface.  Living room.

Sketch of front of Monticello

Foyer of Monticello.  Front Elevation, Fireplace wall elevation and Detail of Crown Molding.

Architectural details that I found interesting at Monticello

St. Mary’s House, sitting on the floor next to the kitchen door looking in.

St. Mary’s House, sitting in the middle of the sanctuary looking towards the alter.

Perceived perspective at St. Mary’s looking towards the front door.

Scale figures, sketched while sitting at Starbucks.

Scale figures, sketched while sitting at Starbucks.

Rendering on another student’s wire frame.

Rendering of the basement of Gatewood.

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>St. Mary’s House – A writers Retreat Drawings and Ideas

>These are the original drawings that I did for St. Mary’s writers retreat.  They may be easier to see than the final boards that I have uploaded to the blog.  There is additional information on the final boards that is not on these drawings.  I’ve also included some commentary and thought process as to why I have laid the space out as I have. 

First floor plan.  The office is at the front of the building to the left.  The space can accommodate a conference table for 8 as well as an office/writing desk.  The living room is directly behind the office.  There are stairs up to a loft.  The Living space is large enough to accommodate intimate seating at the fireplace, a sitting area in the center of the room and a small space for dining for two.  The bedroom is at the back of the living space to create more privacy with an en-suite bathroom as well.  The kitchen connects the living room to the public reading room in the rear of the structure, far right.  This allows the kitchen to function for both spaces and also create a privacy gradient between public and private spaces.  The public reading room has been opened up to the outdoors with french doors and windows all around.  If possible a screen porch on the back would be ideal.  The reading space also has a built in desk for writing, chair storage, and a public bath.  The space can also be used for dining for larger crowds.
Second floor loft plan.  Writing loft is at the front of the house to the left.  The rear loft can act as secondary living, reflecting space, or additional sleep space if necessary.  The rear loft is open to the central portion of the public reading space and could be used as an elevated reading platform as well.
Section Elevation looking east.  Shows the Kitchen, office, living, reading and second floor loft spaces.
Section elevation from inside the public reading room looking south.  This shows how the ceiling is vaulted in the center and how the second story loft interacts with the space.  The writing desk is in the middle and kitchen door is on the right side. 
Section elevation from the living room looking north.  This shows how the second story loft interacts with the kitchen below as well as with the living space.  The window in the loft is 6′ tall, the addition of a scale figure could have made the loft space more clear.
Elevation of the west wall.  The fireplace is central.  Book cases with storage underneath flank the fireplace and continue up to the ceiling of the loft which is 9’6″.  Next to the book cases are the reflecting nooks.  These provide a space for writing and reading as well as additional seating when necessary.  Keeping this section of the space open from front to back maximizes light in the space.

Perspective of the public reading room.  This space is large enough to accommodate 40 individuals seated.

Living room looking west.  A two point perspective that shows how the stairs, loft, balcony seating area, and built ins work together.  Scale figure to the right shows the scale of the space and how open and high the ceilings are.
Living room looking back towards the kitchen on the left, bedroom in through the door on the right.  The kitchen is a galley style kitchen and connects the private quarters to the public reading room.  The allows the kitchen to function for bot public and private spaces while maintaining a privacy gradient for the more personal spaces.
Second floor loft looking south towards the front of the house.  This view shows another reflection nook and writing desk as well as more built ins for storage.  The addition of a scale figure would help show how an individual would interact with the space.  The distance to the top of the window from the floor is 6′, and the distance to the top of the book case from the floor on the right is 5’5″.


My original Parti for the project.  Reflect is the main concept.  Areas of reflection for the writer are key.  The environment is very muted and filled with earth tones.  The richness and life comes from how one lives in and utilizes the space.

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>St. Mary’s House – A writers Retreat – Final boards

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>Outside Inspiration (theory 5)

>For our final theory reading we were asked to review and recommend three different design journals or websites. Here are three that I have been frequenting for quite some time.  I find inspiration in them and have always looked to them for enjoyment and ideas.

Planet Magazine – http://www.planet-mag.com/

This is by far one of my all time favorite sites to visit.  The site looks at design on multiple levels.  Photography, Architecture, Art, Culture, History, and Travel.  They encourage reader participation quite often.  I am always amazed at what I see here.  They content is global and real.  I enjoy the site the most because it give you a complete view of design.  Seeing what people are wearing and displaying on the walls in spaces that are newly created paints a picture for me.  A picture of use, daily life, and functional beauty.

Walpapper – http://www.wallpaper.com/

This site is somewhat similar to Planet magazine, however they do have an editorial slant.  They focus more on architecture which is great, especially since they critique spaces, show plans, and multiple images.  You can almost immerse yourself in the buildings the review.  Seeing plans is extremely important for me to understand how the space flows and how the individual spaces within the space function with each other.  Their bias is toward a more modern and simplistic style that focuses on quality and substance.  Unfortunately, this is often on the extreme side of expensive.  The ideas are good and give good inspiration for design.

Design Sponge – http://www.designspongeonline.com/

This is purely a design blog, updated daily and run by Grace Bonney.  It’s fun, quirky, un-expected, different, inspiring, and fun.  I like fun a lot!!  Little touches here and there make all the difference in an interior space.  The little nuances make it your own and make a space stand out.  Her focus is on home and product design, so interiors and objects abound.  Good design ties them all together.  Occasionally food is featured which is huge for me.  Food brings people together in my home and is its own form of design.  I enjoy Grace’s take on things and always have found inspiration in her site since it started some 6 years ago.

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>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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>Dining together day

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The dining together day project incorporates a 2015 United Nations Resolution to utilize social media and guests from all over the world to dine together in an effort to eradicate world hunger.  The event takes place bi-annually on the summer and winter solstice.  We were to design a space, a dining table, and a sideboard to incorporate 4-10 people.  In my parti I explored the ideas of circles, lemons, greens, yellows, and other naturally occurring ideas for my inspiration.  Here is the final project, it’s parts, and my process.
My presentation board presents one cohesive statement that is well organized, integrated, and complete.

Room perspective – Walls of glass act as television screens to incorporate the guests into another cultures dining experience.  This is accomplished by projecting the alternate location around them, immersing the participants in another cultures experience.  Floors are terrazzo, the fireplace is stacked slate, all wood elements are walnut.  The yellow green color on the walls reminds me of the rind of lemons and limes, which my parti was based upon.  After coloring the ceiling an ivory color I feel that a pale almost sky like blue would be more appropriate as this would visually tie the ceiling and outdoor sky together, helping the room relate more to the outdoors around it.

I chose the Kanu Chair.  Designed by Konstantin Grcic and produced by Cassina.  This chair is made of wood and is somewhat snug, yet still comfortable.  I chose an all wood chair to remind the participants that they are there to eradicate world hunger.  Over a long dinner I would anticipate the wood would be slightly uncomfortable, reminding the diners that hunger is not a pleasant experience. 

Floor Plan – Dotted lines show the beams in the ceiling that frame the actions on the floor itself.  The table sits off center in a space defined by the ceiling.  The fireplace sits directly opposite the table.  The guests at my dinner will be cooking their food in the expansive fireplace.  The three sideboard pieces sit adjacent to the fireplace.  Individuals enter the space through a large opening in the north corner of the room, giving them an unobstructed southern view over the mountains below.

Axonometric View – Shows how the fireplace has a raised hearth which is instrumental in the preparation of the dinner.
South West Elevation – shows the outdoor terrace that steps gradually into the landscape.

Dining table plan – My original plan was to have a much more arched leg opening.  This ended up making the table look like the Colosseum in Rome.  I re-evaluated and made the legs much more narrow and the arches barely evident to create a more elegant, simple table.  I chose an oval shape to somewhat contrast the hard, sharp edges prevalent in the room.  The table is made of walnut.
Sideboard – Inspiration for my sideboard came from both a lemon slice and a grouping of chrome hardware knobs grouped together.  Three of these units will be placed together to create the sideboard unit.  Two door on the front of each sideboard open to revel storage. 
Model entrance view – This is the view one sees entering the room.  The fireplace is to the left.  Evidence of the beamed ceiling is above and frames the dining and preparation areas below it.
Model view from the west wall.  The table is seen first and the fireplace is behind it which is represented by the wall bump out.
Model top view – shows the model and how it is the same as the plan view.
This is the beamed ceiling that I created.  When used on the model I felt it was not as refined as it needed to be so I chose a flat beam detail to represent them in my final model.
My perspective work sheet where I worked out some techniques and color choices for my final perspective.
Un-resolved room perspective.  This is the perspective of the initial room that I designed.  The scale did not seem quite rite and Stoel and I discussed how to improve upon this idea and make it work better.  I feel that my final design was much more successful than my initial design.
initial axon drawing.  The columns seemed way to large in this space as did the area between the table and fireplace.
Initial plan – shows the same table and sideboard that I used in my final drawing.  I did scale the sideboard down from 5 pieces to 3 pieces.
My initial sketch model, showing the fireplace and the table that resemble the Colosseum.

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>Personal Space (theory 3)

>In reading Robert Sommer’s article on Personal space many ideas about space were either re-confirmed or newly introduced to me.   For my dining space two principles stand out as most important.  First is the limit of comfortable conversation.  Second is the idea of psychological intimacy in regards to seating patterns.  

Comfortable conversation usually occurs within about 5 ft of any two individuals.  If in conversation typically they prefer to sit across from one another.  However, if given the option to sit next to someone to converse the distance should be less than a secondary location that is across from one another.  Basically, given two seating options, one across from each other and the other next to each other, the will sit next to each other only if the distance is shorter than the distance across from each other.  In designing a table for a dining space this would tell me that if a rectangular or oval table should not be any wider than 5 ft.  This would allow individuals sitting at the ends, or head, of the table to engage in conversation to those directly adjacent. 

The idea of psychological intimacy relates more to how people sit next to other individuals when given a choice.  His article speaks a lot about studies where individuals are told they are in competition, working with, or becoming friendly with another individual.  For me this information suggests that a round table is the most appropriate choice for all individuals.  Oval would be a good shape as well, especially if seating more than about 5 or 6 people.  This encourages conversation from everyone and leaves no one in a conversationally dead spot.

In my experience a round table that seats more than 6 starts to become to large for comfortable conversation.  The dining space that I am designing is for at least ten sot his would rule out a round table.  Oval seems a more pleasing shape and slightly less formal than a rectangular table.  This reduced intimacy would create a more relaxed dining environment and encourage a more friendly form of conversation.

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>Dining Space Parti

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In this Collage/Parti I explored colors, textures, and ideas for my dining space.  I have lemon trees at my house and they generally have fruit ready in December, around the Winter Solstice.  I took this as a beginning for my space.  I enjoy the color and shape of the lemons and how they relate to the color and shape of the sun.  I further explored the ideas of Shiny vs Matte, Curvaceous vs Rigid line, and Bold vs Restrained.  This is a starting point of ideas for me.

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>Dining Space Prescedents

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