design an open plan living space with a dramatic 'GREAT ROOM'.
"GREAT ROOM" is 16 ft. wide and 25 ft. long with a 10 ft. ceiling.
Both end walls are wall-to-wall window (8ft. high) starting one foot off the
floor and ending one foot from the ceiling. With all the first floor windows
(living, dining, kitchen and mud room windows) being only one foot from the
ceiling - 9 ft high - the scale dwarfs humans providing the impression of
extravagant space. The bedrooms have wall-to-wall windows too which gives
a 'contemporary feel' to the rooms. The design necessitates blinds - no provision
has been made for curtains when opened (they'd hang in front of the glass).
approaches the semicircular entrance from the drive across circular concrete
pads. The entrance is bright and welcoming with the guest coat closet set
under the stairs. Once past the closet one looks up through the open stairwell
at the 4ft. square skylight set in the roof some 22 ft. above. Three arches
(7 ft. openings) on the left reveal the expansive "Great Room" with
the TV (entertainment) recess behind a forth matching arch . The 15' x 8'
end wall window facing the street looks into a 6 ft. high walled privacy garden
which is accessed from inside.
living room floor is carpeted while the remaining first floor area is tiled
- apart from the garage which is smooth concrete 6 inches lower. From the
entrance one looks past the arches at the distinctive circular windows in
the dining area. For entertaining large groups the dining table can be extended
to banquet size. The kitchen is open to the dining area with a 'sit-at' counter
and telephone desk facing the dining area. Backing onto the stairs is an 8ft.
wide by 8ft. high coat closet behind sliding doors. Residents will primarily
use the door into the garage next to this coat closet. There's also a door
from the garage into the 'mud room' - with another coat closet in which the
hot water tank is located. The downstairs toilet is off this mud room - private
from the main living areas. Notice the small window next to the toilet - adds
character. A pocket door closes the mud room from the kitchen - the door will
probably remain open most of the time since the mud room also serves as a
pantry - the pocket door will hence be out of the way.
double garage ( 24' x 24' plus work bench alcove with window) can double as
a games room for teenagers - no posts or beams - and 10 ft. ceilings make
it ideal for a roll-out table tennis table. Garage doors have window panels
to provide daylight.
stairs (12" steps and 6.5" risers) are carpeted and comfortable
to negotiate with two landings and 4 ft. width. At the top of the stairs is
a neat spot in the sun for coffee and the morning papers. This space is open
across the stairwell and landing outside bed#1's door. Up three more steps
and one looks out windows onto the deck over the 'great room'. The deck door
is glass paneled.
second floor bedrooms have 8 ft. ceilings. Bedroom #1 has dramatic curved
windows, two 5 ft. closets, ensuite bathroom with soaker tub plus shower stall.
Walking down the short passage to the bedroom doors one passes a roll-up door
behind which are the washer and drier under a laundry folding counter - with
linen storage shelves above. There's a 4 ft. square skylight above the offset
square space outside the bedrooms and bathroom. Bedrooms have 5 ft. closets
while #2 and #3 have computer desks (with windows) and are large enough to
accommodate teenagers with drums or weaving looms etc. Notice that the windows
stretch from wall to wall. There's also a small (2' x 3') skylight in the
roof deck is large (16' x 25') with trellis beams above and a waterproof closet
to house a barbecue and deck furniture. A canopy at either end protects the
'great room' windows below from rain.
is this house affordable?
house is simple to construct. Remove the rounded features at the front and
back and one's left with two boxes - the 'great room' and the remainder. The
first floor is covered side to side by 18" deep trusses in place of floor
joists - the additional cost of the trusses compared with floor joists will
be more than recouped in labour savings. A delivery truck with hi-up crane
places these floor trusses on the premarked first floor walls. These trusses
also facilitate the installation of plumbing pipes and electrical wires. Airtight
blocking and insulation will be placed between the trusses above the three
arches because the 'great room' roof above the insulation will have to be
air-vented to the outside. The second floor roof will also be spanned with
18 inch trusses.
contemporary 'feel' to the Arch House is achieved through the placement of
the featured windows.