Welcome to the February grind time, where the weather is relentless and so are the 5th-years! As the Spring semester intensifies, Patriece’s Home team is working harder than ever on their project—designing and building an adaptable, two-story house for multi-generational residents.
The team was eager to dive into drawing details for the visiting reviewers. The group decided that the roof material should drape over the house and should be a different color and corrugation size than the metal siding. The porch interiors are also clad with wood “like a bite out of the apple,” as Director Andrew Freear likes to say.
Another thing the Studio loves about this time of year is the weekly reviews from visiting architects and friends. Anne Marie Duvall Decker and Roy Decker from Duvall Decker Architects in Jackson, MS, challenged the Patriece’s Home team to consider the home’s performance strategies before they begin construction details; the team was asked to consider fire protection and ventilating the attic insulation in their approach enclosing the attic trusses, as well as to “fine tune” the passive cooling strategies of the home by carefully selecting where fixed and operable windows are located. In response, the team is working to use the chimney effect of the stairs to their advantage.
The team continues to examine ways to keep the home affordable to build, even with a large footprint. Because this house is thermally and functionally divided in half, the homeowner could choose to finish the larger or smaller unit upon construction and finish the other unit when their living needs change (kind of like the Myers’ Home “shell” research).
Not long after this review, the team FINALLY got to meet Patriece!! An exterior massing model showed her how the house would look from the outside, and an unfolding interior model helped the team walk Patriece through the home and show her adaptations to each room by moving modeled furniture. And she liked it! With her approval, the team can begin to conjecture how her family will use the home and how further decisions will keep it comfortable throughout her life.
Most recently, the team had a day of review and workshops with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien from Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and Partners in New York City, NY. They said that the team’s concept was very clear, so now they should loosen up a bit to make the social spaces of the home even nicer and more useful. Tod and Billie also encouraged the team to make spaces at the top and bottom of the stairs that use the light from the dormer window and allow someone to enjoy being on the kitchen landing.
The team has a lot to work with from these meetings and much to prepare for the meetings to come! They are going to begin surveying the site to find where the best location is to place the home. The team is also going push the house’s details and construction decisions forward as they get closer to the final review of the semester. There’s much more to come for Patriece’s Home—thanks for reading and keeping up with us!