Sunday, 1 July 2012

Schematic Design

Here's the latest floor plan and section, and some of the reasons we selected this scheme.

Lower Floor Plan

Many additions on small lots are built from one side boundary to the other, leaving only what's left at the back as private open space. With our design, the rear addition is only built across half the site, so we end up with some nice outdoor space along the side of the building as well.

And because the front of the house is where the living areas will be located, we have also gained open space by activating the front verandah. If we'd put the living room, kitchen, etc out the back, the front verandah would have become a functionally useless space. The front verandah faces north, so it will be a lovely and warm place to sit on a sunny winter's day.

See the dashed line in the top diagram? That is the maximum height limit. We could have built up to that line. But in doing so, it would have spoiled the scale of the existing cottage. You have to remember that the site is only 10m wide - if we were to raise the cottage to the maximum legal height, what you end up with is a tall, narrow building which looks really awkward. That in turn creates the need for a REALLY long staircase up to the front door, which just looks wrong in my book.

I mentioned building mass in a previous post, and how it can negatively impact on the overall design. If you could imagine a row of small lot houses all built to the maximum height and built right across the site, it's occupants would ultimately end up with loss of:

a) light,
b) outlook,
c) privacy and
d) outdoor space.

We chose to spend more money on the design and finishes, rather than building across the entire available building envelope. Factors such as maximum outdoor space, privacy, outlook and natural light are far more important to us than having a big house.

1 comment:

  1. Aha, now it all makes sense. Very clever design that your second level is set so far back so you won't see it from the front. And I totally agree with you about the important things- we chose Betsy mainly for her trees, sunlight and space from the neighbours. and about those silly houses raise too high- same reason we did not lift our last house which was a workers cottage too.melx