This is a design proposal for a second floor addition to a contemporary ranch home. Although the house appears modest, the amount of spaces it currently has, in addition to the proposed spaces, makes this residence quite spacious. As I have continued to work on these competitions, the struggle I have encountered is trying to balance my desire to propose dynamic, exciting spaces versus the sometimes timid desires of the client. I’m cannot help but believe that several of the professors that have taught me over the past few years would look at this work and criticize its simplicity or compromise to “bad architecture”. It’s my understanding of the practicality of the forum that has motivated me thus far, for when substantial money is available, it is difficult to propose radical, expensive additions that the client may prefer but cannot accept as the most appropriate for them.
The balance I am trying to strike is one predicated on growth. Although my proposals have been relatively “tame”, there are underlying principles to the designs that I’m trying to cultivate that will translate into more substantial projects as time progresses. This project is an accurate example of a design element I am trying to understand within the traditional home: the hallway. As I’ve seen more and more building layouts I cannot argue (yet) with the effectiveness of the double-loaded corridor. However, in small scale residential work, the hallway is a linear path that is consistently the smallest and inefficient space in the home. In the design below, the second floor (which was the area of significant new design) is not designed as a series of spaces along a linear path, but rather a collection of spaces spread around a central space. Although a simple design decision on the surface, the result is the reallocation of that floor area that would otherwise be used as hallway (corridor) into a collective, larger space that can be experienced. In this addition, that central space is a sitting area with skylights above and surrounded by built-in bookshelves around the periphery.