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.
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…