About the building

This house design is based on a square with areas of function defined by one major separation wall. To support the goal of an open, high ceiling design, the house is a combination of post and beam interior and stud wall exterior. With an 8-foot porch around three sides it makes a footprint of 64 feet square. The inner core of 24 feet square is open to the roof peak and gives the center of the building a dramatic feeling of openness. With that area of the roof rising above the lower shed roof, the windows illuminate the interior that would otherwise be quite dark with the 8-foot porch roof surrounding it. The major part of the house, 1728 square feet, is a pottery and workshop space. The living quarters comprise 1280 square feet.

The building site is in a relatively level open area with good drainage. The building is oriented with the main entrance facing the driveway which comes in to the east. The living quarters face west and will be protected somewhat from the prevailing NW winds by a hill that rises gradually to about 40 feet above the site.

This house answers our needs as older adults with a strong interest in creating work that is meaningful, while maintaining a simple, uncluttered lifestyle. During our 15 years of marriage we have lived in many different houses and have tried to assess the most (and least) appealing characteristics of them. Even though we have lived in large houses, our tendency has been to actually use a relatively small area that incorporated kitchen and dining, computer use and library/music functionalities. Because we are approaching retirement, we are trying to lower future maintenance tasks by utilizing materials that will not require frequent painting or repair. Metal roofing, fiber-cement siding, concrete floors with radiant heat, stone patios (future) and low profile outdoor access are all oriented toward ease of care and use.

While the living space is comparatively small, we feel that the simplicity and openness of the design will satisfy us and allow us to grow old in a house that nurtures us.

 

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