Monday, March 9, 2009

Designing the house

As there was no building action on site this week, so I thought I'd mention a little about the design of our new home.

Our intent was to design a comfortable country home. This sounds simple but to do so meant that we had to break the rules of convention by not building a typical 'volume builder' type home and not performing an architectural, post modern act of gymnastics.

What this means is that our design aesthetic had to be driven by applying a proportion consistent with the intended style; not a farmhouse, not an urban townhouse but a family house for a country town.
Design is a very personal thing, everyone has different tastes, requirements and aspirations and in the end all you need are firm ideas and to be comfortable with your decisions.
We are happy with our design outcome and we are enjoying the process.

I first took levels on the block and created a contour plan from the data in order to determine the extent of the site cut and to develop the elevations.

A preliminary sketch of the front elevation. I had a rough idea in my mind of the style but needed to get something on paper to assist with my design development.

I was envisaging something reminiscent of a Californian Bungalow.

Thee lines at the bottom and to the right of the sketch are my 'proportion guides'. These guides are based on the number Phi ( = 1.618033988749895... ). This number is the key to perfect proportion. It is also known as The Golden Section. I could go on and on about this number but it is best if you click on the Phi link to learn more.

Another fiddle with the elevation. Just ideas.

The more I fiddled the more I kept reverting to a common theme. Stonework, gables & loft.

As you already know from my page header this is the design outcome.

One of the original floor plan sketches.
The layout of the house has not changed greatly from the original sketches. It is a design that has been kicking around in my head for quite some time. Remarkably, my wife also sketched something almost identical from the outset.

This was the original upper floor design. I didn't like it because it was too fiddly and it over-complicated the structure.

This is the final ground floor design. Click here to view a larger copy.

This is the final upper floor design. Click here to view a larger copy.
That was a brief insight into the design process. Obviously there is a lot more to it than what is shown on this post but this should serve as a general overview.
The brickie should be on site this week.
That's all for now.


  1. hi greg...I am NOT joking...But i was just about to say I liked the last image/drawing as my favourite...then I read that is what you have chosen..

    It looks terrific...and you have done a great job..
    cannot keep waiting to see the progress..

    I wont send you kisses (kathryn might get grumpy!!) i shall just send YYYY's!! (no idea what I am talking about!)

  2. Wow! such alot of work goes into drafting...
    Amazing and oh so complicated looking.
    My Grandfather in his Hey day was adraftsman and a very good one at that!
    He did the Runways in the Canary islands.

    Your home looks to be very well planned and am sure it'll be great!
    Had'nt popped by to see the progress as I lost the link...
    I am a "follower" now...
    (Bring in the "jaws music!)