December House – Mountain Cabin

Click here to see all renderings

Wow, this will be my last house for my ’12 houses in 12 months’ project. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started this project! So much has happened and so much has changed! This has definiteley been a great experience for me. I’ve learned a good deal about architecture, even more about SketchUp, and a heck of alot about self motivation and self discipline. I don’t know what I’m gonna do with all my free time in 2010!

So for my last house I decided to do a mountain cabin. I enjoy snowboarding every winter, and I love the idea of having a cabin on the mountain to stay at for a winter vacation. This house is designed as a winter retreat, starting off with a mud room entrance for taking off those wet snow clothes and storing the snowboards, skis, and various other snow-related items. Upon entering the main part of the house you would walk right into a lower circle seating area, which has a bench wrapping around a large circle table, with a double-sided fireplace at the far end of the circle. I think the idea of a mountain cabin is all about going with friends and family and spending quality time together, away from the distractions of the modern world. This central seating area would be perfect for meals, games, and general hanging about. The fireplace adds warmth for everyone, both sitting within the circle or those milling about the kitchen or dining area. The main living area is all one open floorplan, with the circle, kitchen, and dining room all open as one big room. This allows for everyone to be together, while still allowing for smaller groupings and activities. The downstairs has a full bath and 1 bedroom which has 3 bunk beds, and the upstairs has a mirrored floorplan, yet slightly smaller since the upstairs bedroom is split to create a small sitting area / loft.  The fireplace is a central feature of this house going from the ground floor straight through to the roof, helping to emphasize the open expanse of the living area.

So thats it. Now I get to spend another month or so compiling all of my work over the last year into a book and getting it printed via! Can’t wait to see the finished product. Over and Out.


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November House – Dwell Garage Contest

November House – 2 Car Garage for Dwell Contest

Click Here to see Slideshow of All renderings

For this month of my project, I found out that Dwell Magazine was doing a contest to design and model a garage. I took up the challenge, and modeled my 2 car garage. Here is the essay submitted with my renderings:

My garage is designed to be a simple, self-sufficient storage and maintenance facility for up to 2 vehicles. The perimeter walls are constructed from reclaimed steel panels, and the roof is steel covered in solar tiles to power the electrical outlets inside the garage. The stored power would also be used for opening and closing the glass track doors on the south-facing wall, as well as the pistons that raise and lower the car lift, seen on the right side of the garage. The pitch of the roof is to collect rain water, which would be stored in underground tanks and then filtered to be used for washing the cars outside of the garage. The west-facing wall (right side) has cabinets, countertops and a mechanics tool-chest for storage and working on parts that may have been removed from one of the owners vehicles. The east-facing wall (left side) has full length shelves to be used for general storage. My favorite part of the garage is the enclave at the back of the garage with the northern exposure. This small section with bamboo flooring to contrast the steel and concrete of the rest of the garage would act as a sanctuary to sit back and relax after working on any maintenance to the owners vehicles, as well as to simply enjoy the beautiful form of his/her vehicles. My design is not overtly complex or technologically savy, but I think that’s the beauty of it. For a person who owns beautiful cars that they want to care for an appreciate for a long time, the garage should not be overpowering in itself, it should act as a picture frame for the works of art that it houses. That is the main reason for the glass track doors, so that people looking in from the outside would get the feeling of looking at a piece of art.


And yes, thats a BMW M3 and a Aston Martin DBS in my garage ­čÖé We can all dream, can’t we?

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October Architecture Project – SML Bookcase

October Architecture Project – SML Bookcase – Click Here For All Renderings


Busy as ever, and with limited time for this months Architecture project, I sat down to build an underground house. During the sketching process I hit a creative block, and just went to the most basic aspect of architecture. Simple geometry. After all, floorplans are made up of little more than boxes and rectangles. So I started drawing combinations of squares and rectangles, seeing where it would lead me. I ended up with the combination of shapes that forms a gradation from Small, to Medium, to Large shapes. By then filling in the negative spaced, I created one large rectangle from 7 smaller shapes. As I looked at this image I began thinking about bookshelves, and how all bookcases have mutliple shelves that are all the same deep. Well, what if the depth of the shelves varied, so some shelves could hold smaller and thinner paperback books, while other shelves were deeper to hold larger books? From there it was a simple progression to create my mass of shapes into a bookcase. The inspiration of SketchUp played a pivitol role in the final model, as I played with extrusion and negative space, i came up with the idea of not only graduating the size of the shelves from top to bottom, but also from left to right, creating a stair-case effect. I love how this looks now, because I think it really takes cues from architecture and applies those ideas to a smaller scale. One last note, the color scheme obviously mimics the idea of gradation – lighter green on top, graduating to a darker green on the bottom.

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September Building – UrbanShed Competition

Click here to Slideshow of all renderings


What a crazy month. We closed on our first house and moved in! This has unfortunatly left little time for my architecture project, but in the midst of all the hecticness, I discovered a competition that is being held right now to design new shelters for NYC sidewalks. These shelters are installed to protect people walking on the sidewalk during the construction/renovation of a building. The ones used now are makeshift shelters assemlbed from plywood and metal poles; more or less scaffolding. The competition asks designers & architects to develop a system that could be effecient, effective, reusable, cost effective, and cure cancer as well. I think I got it all. My design would be built in 10′ long sections of molded plastic, which could be placed end-to-end to create any length of shelter. The “shed” has gutters molded into the shape which drain into built-in water tanks. These serve a dual purpose. First, the collected water would add weight to the structure and make it more stable. Secondly, the water could be drained and then re-used for watering nearby plants or some other use for gray-water. The structure also has plexi-glass panels ontop to allow natural light in during the day, and lights on the structural ribs inside to light during the night. The structure would be attached to the plywood wall that is typically erected surrounding new construction using bolts.

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August House

Click Here for Timelapse video of construction

Click Here for Slideshow of Photos


For this month’s house I started out with the idea that I’d be designing a house that would be in Japan. There are so many well designed homes in Japan, I couldn’t help but take a stab at the clean, minimalist style of Japenese houses. One of the common threads through many of the houses in Japan is an overall lack of size. Because Japan is so densley populated, many houses are right ontop of one another, with only a small front and back yard. The idea of having houses directly the left and right led me to keep both left and right walls without any windows, but creating a snaking trail of glass from the ground all the way to the roof on both the front and back elevations of this house. I’m particuarly fond of how the glass on the 3rd floor goes straight into the roof, creating a skylight as well. I don’t know if that would really be feasable in the real world, but that’s not really much of a concern for me right now. The odd shape of the house came from playing with shapes in Sketchup. I had done hand drawings of the house, and then when playing with the shapes in SketchUp, I came up with this peculiar extrusion coming out of the stop of the house. Building the model was very fun, and I definitely got a much better idea of living space within a given area. I did not do any of the interior architecture since I knew it’d be hidden once I put up all the walls and roof, but I feel that this house would have more than enough space for a family of 4-5 peoople.

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July House/Apartment

July House/Apartment – Click Here For Slideshow of all renderings


After reading through Dwell magazine last month, I really wanted to do another small house. Since the first month of this project I did 4 Shipping Container houses, I thought it might be cool to change it up and design an apartment. Obvisouly, part of designing an apartment is dealing with multiple enclosed residences in 1 large building. I wanted to give myself alittle bit of a challenge this month too, so instead of working with a standard box for my basic floorplan, I started with a triangular shaped base. I really like the staircase that I worked into this loft-style apartment, going from very wide to very narrow at the landing of the 2nd floor. It’s actually surprising how little room you really need to have a functioning, practical home. This space is approx. under 1,000 sq ft, and there’s more then enough space for a family of 4 to live there. Well, that’s pure conjecture. I really have no idea how a family of 4 would deal with this apartment. There’d be more than enough space for 2 adults, but I’m not sure if there’d be enough open space for 2 kids to run and play. Who needs kids, anyway?

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June House Complete

June House – Click here for full set of renderings


So this might not look exactly “modern” or particularly cool in any way, and that’s because this house is about 60 years old. This house also just happens to be the house that Nadine and I are currently under contract to buy! We just had our home inspection this past weekend, and during the inspection I was able to measurments of all of the rooms, so that I could make a 3d model. The model isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close to the real thing. Plenty close enough to allow Nadine and I to figure out how we’re going to organize our furniture, etc, etc. So the goal is to eventually sell this house, and then use the profit to design and build our own house. After this year is over, hopefully i’ll have leanred a great deal more about desgning imaginary houses, and after ┬áliving in my own house, I hope I’ll have learned alot, all of which should aide in the future design of our dream home.

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