Masonry Panel House
One of the major perks of being an architect is designing a house for yourself. You may never build it, but you can entertain yourself for hours at a time playing with the design. In my case this isn't an every day hobby, but at least once every couple of years the mood strikes and away we go. The mood has struck.
Every time I have designed a house there has been a theme. There were at least two Sthapatya Veda-inspired houses. Houses inspired by planning grids. Tiny vacation houses. Duplex investment projects. The common denominator is that I don't have anything to show for the exercises because they never make it past an incomplete Schematic Design (see graphic). Sadly, my visualization skills eliminate the need for drawings understandable by anyone else. So what artifacts exist, after a few years, are incomprehensible even to me. They are the casualties of finding the flaw in the concept, of more pressing issues intruding, or of simple loss of interest.
This time around my plan is to document the exercise right here from time to time as enough info becomes available to illustrate a step in my progress. Another difference is that I will be using new tools to record the design - my iPad and several apps. So far InkFlow, Trace, and Scalar hold pieces of the design, but several more will surely enter the picture. This contrasts to the use of Levenger's Circa Notes in most past designs. (See Graphic, again.)
The theme this time around is a Next-To-Last House. (I’m 66.) A next-to-last [NTL] house has all the necessities on one floor, and is no bigger than needed. I have added the additional constraint that it have a construction cost of no more than $275,000. I am far enough already to know that cost will be the driver! Stay tuned...