stairs

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.

Houses and Haunts

Déjà vu? The Patrice’s Home team stumbled and waddled into reviews on Friday dressed as the Perry Lakes Park Restrooms and Boardwalk, a 2003 Rural Studio project in Marion, Alabama. 

Halloween reviews is the time of year when the team presents (in costume) to a mix of outside reviewers. This critical feedback brings the insight needed to push the project design to the next stage of development. 

Aside from crafting stylish bathrooms from cardboard and duct tape, the team received and did inventory on their tool trailer. Most importantly the Patrice’s Home team has been hard at work analyzing plan options and room relationships that make a buildable, beautiful, and adaptable home.  

This set of iterations was focused on what has been called pivot points, or design-driving decisions, such as porch type and house orientation. With so many options and variables, these decisions allowed the team to test and compare multiple different approaches to designing a multi-generational home. 

In addition to parsing through pending plans and pivot points, the team worked with the other two 5th-year student teams to build and refine a presentation for reviews, and it wouldn’t be Halloween week without a few necessary breaks for pumpkin-carving!