Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Island Flex House Design, Great Room Component

The Great Room building forms the core around which any number of bedroom cottages or other buildings can be added to create an Island villa compound. This plan is for a very open configuration between sitting and kitchen areas. The sitting area can be fully opened on three sides by sliding doors so that it is both an indoor and outdoor room. The kitchen area can be closed off from the sitting area to keep out marauding insects and birds. Care needs to be taken to make sure the outdoor dining area is on the leeward side of the building, or is sheltered by other buildings from the wind or it will be unusable much of the time.

Island Flex House Design, Great Room Component 2

This Great Room component has a horizontal orientation and includes a study or media room. The kitchen is full closed off from the living areas for those that will be using staff or do not like to see the kitchen mess. The building shape is simple and symmetrical so that the exposed roof framing looks logical and balanced when seen from inside. Nearly all our Island homes have exposed roof framing for greater room height and to avoid closed in voids where any number of insects and critters can take up residence.

Island Flex House, Master Bedroom Component

One of the problems we faced over the years designing houses for people in the Caribbean is that they always wanted the size and number of rooms they had in their stateside homes. But in the Islands you also want to live outside so large covered terraces would be added greatly increasing the building area which directly relates to construction cost. In this bedroom component area is minimized by doing only an indoor sleeping area and making the sitting area a covered outdoor terrace. Sliding doors allow the sitting area to be closed in depending on rain, wind and privacy needs.

Island Flex House Design, Master Bedroom Component 2

This is a larger Master Bedroom option that has a larger dressing and closet area, as well as soaking tub along with his and hers vanity and shower areas. The covered terrace opens into an intimate private courtyard that could have a fountain for cooling water sounds.

Island Flex House Design, Master Bedroom 3 Component

This is the largest free standing Master Bedroom component which provides owners with a private retreat from the main house that might be full of guests. The bathroom has a tub opening onto a private walled courtyard with two outdoor showers. The sleeping area is indoors as is a separate study. A large covered outdoor terrace can be enclosed or opened up with sliding doors.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Island Flex House Design, Single Bedroom Component

This is a bedroom cottage that can be clustered closely to other parts of the house, or if the site is large enough placed at a distance for privacy. The sleeping area is indoors as is the bathroom and dressing area. The sitting area is a covered terrace that can be closed off with sliding louvered doors. The terrace and bath open onto a private walled courtyard that allows the air to circulate freely, so that if the site has good wind exposure, air conditioning will not be necessary.

Island Flex House Design, Double Bedroom Component

Two identical bedroom suites in a simple rectilinear building. Each suite has a private walled courtyard that can have an outdoor shower. The sitting areas are roofed outdoor areas with sliding louvered doors on two sides so the room can be closed on one or both sides depending on wind direction or privacy needs.

Island Flex House Design, Entry Component

This building can be used as an entry portico into a villa compound. Separating the laundry area from the main living areas can be advantageous when there is day staff so their chatter and music doesn't disturb.

Island Flex House Design, Entry/Study Component

This service building can be placed near the entry of a villa compound. This particular one was designed for a private Island where only golf carts were allowed so it shows a covered parking area for a cart. The Study can be a flexible space used for an overflow sleeping space or for live in staff.

Island Flex House Design, Pool House Component

A shaded arbor for outdoor dining with an outdoor grill. A changing room and a storage room is available for pool equipment or cushion storage when the house is closed up. Bougainvillea can be grown over the arbor for a truly tropical feel, or a retractable sail cloth canvas awning can be used for some rain protection.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Island Flex House Design Concept, Site

Creating a villa compound by grouping a series of buildings allows you to make full use of a sites potential, be it view exposure, or taking advantage of trade winds to cool the rooms. The spaces between buildings can become protected outdoor spaces as shown in the cloister below that has been formed by covered walkways connecting the adjacent buildings/rooms.

Another advantage is that the Flex House concept can create a very large home that does not dominate a site as shown below with a villa we did many years ago on Jumby Bay in Antigua. Though a very large house, as you walk around the site the buildings and connecting spaces are very personal and comfortable in scale. Never do you feel like you are lost in a 13,000 sf house.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Island House Plan 5

All Plans Copyrighted by MCM Architects 2010 All Rights Reserved

Another version of the "L" shaped plan concept where two wings shelter covered open living areas when placed to face the leeward side of a property. This plan also has a cloister that provides a private wind protected alternative for dining when winds change direction and come from the leeward side. All four bedrooms have private bathrooms and outdoor shower courtyards enhancing it's rentability for multiple couples. A large removed Laundry Room with bathroom provides a place for day staff.

While the building shape and hip roofs are simple, using arches or other fretwork can provide a lot of character and detail as shown in the sketches above.

Island House Plan 3

All PLans Copyrighted by MCM Architects 2010 All Rights Reserved

This plan is about living outdoors. Placing the "L" so that it presents it's back to the prevailing winds and rain, leaves the covered outdoor living areas on the protected leeward side of the house. Two wings form the simple geometry of the plan, one wing has three guest bedrooms and the other a more private Master Bedroom. All bathrooms open onto private courtyards with outdoor showers. A large Kitchen with Family area provides a refuge in times of stormy weather.

The simple gable roof forms together with the straight forward building configuration make for uncomplicated construction. The "L" shape allows allows all rooms to be ventilated by natural breezes to reduce the need or reliance on air conditioning and the resultant power use. The plans include cisterns under terraces for collecting rain water.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Design Visualization

Photo by Don Riddle

The drawing above was the sketch used to visualize the proposed design for the new rooms at Jumby Bay. The intent was to give a feeling for the character and style of room being proposed. The drawing is computer generated from a 3D design model, however, rather than rely on photo realistic rending capabilities of the software, the view was enhanced by hand with a digitizing tablet to provide a more interpretive impression of what the room was going to be like. A photo of the actual finished room is shown on top.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Villa Sopramare, Jumby Bay

All Plans Copyrighted by MCM Architects 2010 All Rights Reserved

The living spaces of this design are a line of totally open terraces overlooking the pool and the view of the sea beyond. A sitting room provides shelter when the weather is too stormy and serves as a media room otherwise. Access to this villa is through an arched gallery that opens into an internal courtyard surrounded by a covered walkway. Three guest suites are on a second floor above the courtyard, while the Master Bedroom and another suite flank the house as separate buildings for maximum privacy. Each building of the complex is connected by a variety of smaller intimate courtyards so that as you move through the house you cannot tell whether you are indoors or out.

This Villa is completing construction and is available for sale, click here for more information. Update: This house has been sold.

Oregon Coast House Construction 1

This 3,500 sf house is under construction on the Oregon Coast. The primary design goal was to capture the dramatic ocean and coastline view possible from it's headland site. These photographs from inside the house as it is being framed show how stunning the view is going to be. The first floor plan of this house is totally open so that whether you are in the living, dining, game area, or kitchen you will enjoy an almost 180 degree panorama of the Oregon Coastline.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Marysville School Fire

Photo by Skyshots

On November 10 2009, only 3 weeks after we opened the park, Marysville school caught fire. Luckily all the students were evacuated from the building by the staff and taken to a nearby Library. The school is about 50% destroyed. The park was not damaged but is now fenced off to keep people out of the damaged buildings. It is hoped that the park will be able to reopen soon so at least the people in the neighborhood can use it. The children are now attending school across town in a school that had previously been closed down.

Marysville School Park

MCM Architects donated their services to design a playground and park for Marysville Elementary School in SE Portland. Funding for construction was from private donations, City of Portland and the Portland Development Commission. The playground design uses geometric patterns and natural shapes to stimulate children's creative use of the play environment. A series of grass mounds were a great hit with the kids who ran over them and invented games involving gaining possession of a mound. The ancient geometry of the "Labyrinth" also facinated the kids who immeadiately turned it into a race about who could get to the center first and stay within the path. The park design focused on creating different defined areas of interest rather than rely on typical pieces of expensive playground equipment, which helped to bring the park in on budget.