Monday, November 29, 2010

Oregon Coast House 2

All Plans Copyrighted MCMarchitects 2010, All Rights Reserved

This beachfront residence, located just beyond the foredune, was designed as a primary residence as a family four. The original house, out of which this new residence was created, was a one story, flat roofed vacation house constructed in the early 1960's. In remaking the house the intent was twofold. First, to expand the small residence to meet the needs of an active family. Second, the owner's wished to create a house that reflected the northwest style of architecture with a strong nod to the wife's Scandinavian roots.

The linear plan of the existing house, coupled with zoning restrictions and view opportunities led to a linear, two story solution. The details, shingled exterior and traditional windows recall the great houses of Martha's Vineyard while the scale and massing contribute to a casual elegance. On the entry side a broad porch greets visitors and established the homes pedigree. One enters directly into the Dining Room and the view to the ocean beyond. A pair of fireplaces separate the Dining and Living Rooms and also separate the service wing from the bedroom wings of the ground floor. On the upper level a separate bedroom suite, a gracious Master Suite and a Playroom complete the composition. The Playroom opens onto a rooftop deck that is expressed as a traditional Widow's Walk on the exterior. Throughout the interior natural blond woods, off white paint and simple detailing contribute to the desired Scandinavian feeling and the overall impression of a space that is both traditional and modern at the same time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Minimum House Plan

In 1947 Life Magazine published three modern house plans, one was called the Minimum House and was designed by Oregon architect Pietro Belluschi. It was a 25' square house that could be built for $7,000 and later expanded for a growing family. This plan was probably intended for soldiers returning from WWII and ready to start families. The children of those families (known as Baby Boomers) are starting to enter retirement. Our Minimum House Plan is inspired by the original but updated for Baby Boomers who want a small house for cost reasons, because they don't need a large home any more, for a second home or retreat, or because they want to live more sustainably with more efficient use of resources and less maintenance.

Our Minimum House is a 25' by 35' (850 sf plus storage) open plan with a large covered terrace. The Life Magazine article said "the minimum house provides a maximum of pleasant living", which is what we tried to achieve with this updated plan. The space is open and flows around the house. The space is very comfortable with high ceilings and wrap around windows. It will be well suited for entertaining. Some spaces have multiple uses; such as the entry, which in most small homes tends to be tight and cramped or enter directly into the living room, in this plan the space also has a built in desk for home office or desktop computer along with a wall of storage closets. The bathroom is compartmentalized so that guests can use it as a powder room without going through the sleeping area. Two vanity areas allow separate sinks for couples and one has a 6' long counter top for folding laundry or packing your suitcase. There is a large walk-in closet and storage room added to the carport is available to store stuff. So while small in square footage it has plenty of living space and storage for a single person or a couple.

In 1951 Pietro Belluschi designed the Griffith house that was a small home similar to Life's Minimum home. This house survived until a few years ago and has been dismantled and will be reconstructed as the Belluschi Pavilion on the campus of Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego Oregon. You can find information on the Griffith House as well as reprints of the Life Magazine articles here.

Another Minimum House Plan can be seen here.