Quick Update on Usonian Land Issues…

Just a quick note on our progress. I have had to sort of sidetrack the land acquisition for our Usonian home because of business matters.

What is happening is my business is in a phase where I need a temporary physical location instead of my current home office. The ultimate goal is still to work mainly from home but at this stage, in order to get the business into more of a hands-off state, I have to have a quiet place to interview people and occasionally meet clients.

The way this relates to our future Usonian plans is that I am making decisions that may or may not affect our location. Too far from the city can pose a problem, but not if I set it up correctly now. Too close and we are fully defeating our dreams into the future.

Our primary purpose is still to be away from neighbors and live a self sustaining lifestyle as pictured by Frank Lloyd Wright (and achieved by him in some cases with Taliesen).

So my wife and I have been looking at more properties. We have been torn between getting a 4 acre plot for half what 25 acres would be. In other words, do we get the 4 acre plot soon or the 25 acre lot into the future a bit more.

The thing about the 4 acre plot is usually the orientation of our house although by mirroring my Usonian floor plan, it is still doable. I REALLY likeĀ  our house plan and am almost trying to fit the plot to the usonian design…FLW would likely ex-communicate me for doing this.

We found one 25 acre farm that would be absolutely perfect for our needs but again, we are dealing with people that are over inflating their property values (in some cases by 75% over assessed value.

So our weekends are spent driving around the county looking at possibilities and dreaming of the Usonian life we are going to lead and the weekdays have been spent building a business to get it to the point that it will automatically sustain our Usonian lifestyle.

I begin to design and make tons of fatal FLW Usonian mistakes…

X Shaped House

X Shaped House

While waiting for a few books to come in to help me learn about Usonian houses and the concept of “Organic Architecture”, my wife and I began to sketch some ideas. The first was an ‘X’ shaped house.

Now remember this is when all I knew about a Usonian house was its minimalistic nature…and the fact we wanted one!

The kitchen ‘core’ would be in the middle of the house and there would be a living room wing, kid’s bedroom wing, master bedroom wing and garage wing. A garden would reside off the back of the house. I think my wife drew the happy face garden as a joke.

The kitchen ceiling would be raised above each wing’s ceiling to create a chimney effect which will be describe later in this blog.

It seemed like a great idea but it had just about EVERYTHING wrong with the design becoming a good Usonian design.

One was with the complexity of the design. Usonians are simple and elegant. No wasted space. No opulence.

Back to the drawing board. Except this is where I made the second mistake. I downloaded Chief Architect as a way to sketch out my ideas. This was a major bad judgement call on my part. The reasons will become apparent as this blog continues.

Adams Usonian Plan 1

Adams Usonian Plan 1 - Big Mistakes!

So I began sketching with Chief Architect and came up with a typical L shaped usonian plan based on the Jacobs house, Rosenbaum and to a smaller degree, Kentuck Knob (also known as the Hagan House or Chalk Hill). Here was my first solid idea.

What we liked about the L shaped Usonian plan was the fact that it sort of wrapped around a garden in the center of the house. It was as though the house was part of the garden. Which was yet another mistake in my design! Do you see the garden? Frank Lloyd Wright would roll over in his Taliesin grave seeing that Usonian floor plan.

It was becoming more real as my wife and I sat in front of the computer designing what we felt we needed into a floor plan which I will describe in the next posting…