patriceshome

Free the Stairs!

Since Halloween Reviews, the 5th-year students designing Patrice’s Home have shifted their design focus of the extra unit within the home. The team is now exploring pushing the larger of the two units to the second floor.

But how would the home function if one family is using all of the spaces? With a helpful review from visiting architect and Rural Studio alum, Amanda Loper, from David Baker Architects, the team is cooking up two schemes that divide the first floor but keep the laundry shared. One scheme is a long shotgun unit and the other is a wider wrapping unit.

The strategy to keep spaces separate frees the stairs to be wholly used by the users living on the second floor. Next, the team will investigate opportunities and challenges of an open staircase in the home, including light, ventilation, storage, user experience, and (potentially) a dormer.

Vignettes of sixteen ways that stairs can be used other than circulation.

The team continues to cook these various schemes and analyze the connection of the interior to exterior porches. Keep watching out for Patrice’s Home team to see what these ideas bake into!

An arial photo of the four team members working at their desks in Red Barn.

First Steps

A selfie of Adam, Lauren, Laurel, and Daniel

Howdy from the freshly established Patrice’s Home team: Adam Davis, Lauren Lovell, Daniel Burton, and Laurel Holloway! While the team has not met their client, Patrice, yet, they have been diligently working on Rural Studio’s next 5th-year house project.  

Rural Studio has been designing and building homes for rural families since 1993. Patrice’s Home seeks to provide flexibility and adaptability for rural homeowners as the number of occupants and their relationships change over the life of the home. Often in rural areas, as homes are inherited and families grow, porches are filled in, and additions are added to provide more interior space.

Written Diagram. Adaptability = One defined space that changes in defined program. That change can be  called flexibility.

The goal of Patrice’s Home is to make the interior rooms flexible enough that they can easily and completely change without significant alterations or additions to the home. Building upon research from one of last year’s 5th-year projects, the Myers’ Home, this new project will also provide more occupiable interior space in the attic. By extending the interior upwards, the footprint remains the same, the cost per square foot of the home is decreased, and the details of exterior additions don’t lead to thermally weak points, leaky places within the home envelope.

The team is also considering the option of an exterior stair that allows for the second floor attic space to be separated from the first floor. This offers opportunities for the home to have two separate families under the same roof or additional space for the homeowner to rent, providing potential for a second source of income.

To understand the limits and possibilities of an interior stair, the team first dove into residential code analysis for interior stairs. Next they drew stair and attic truss schemes into several previous Rural Studio house designs to challenge what restrictions and possibilities come with a two-story house. This research combined with the drawing exercises helped the team develop new criteria for the project.

Halloween reviews are right around the corner and the team will begin to mock-up and understand what makes a delightful Rural Studio porch and the kind of spatial challenges a staircase offers. So, come along and porch sit with this team as they keep this project moving on up (into the attic)!