Back from a holiday break, filled with big new ideas and resolutions to make this year rock. I start off each year like this and have had a tough time with carry through, but for some reason I keep doing it. This year it's less goal setting and more of a systematic approach (check out this article). For me there's always a lot of road time during the holidays, traveling to visit family a half a day away. This is when I usually recount my past year, think ahead to this year and strategize. This year though, we talked a lot about the 1 Oceanside house.
I had been reticent to move forward with much talking or planning because it's a far flung project that can't financially happen for some time. The idea of brainstorming over something for 15 years sounds painful, but realistically something that can't be avoided, right? I guess my issue was that I wanted the time to dive into the residential design process, that analytical architectural approach we're taught to enlist, but right now I have such a teeny amount of time that I wanted to wait ... But the discussions happened regardless and I realized that even with my stalling the design process evolved organically. We elaborated on our personal house philosophy... a house that will stand 100 years or more (this is more about quality materials and less about a natural disaster), a house that melds into the natural terrain but allows the slope to exist (limiting earth cutting), a house that employs a choreographed entry (basically you park and walk, leaving the daily with your car and experiencing a landscaped journey to the entry).
We knocked out a basic program... 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a room (loft or mezzanine) that could serve as a bedroom/playroom/library/craft room if needed, kitchen, living/dining room, mud room/utility room, decks. What we were willing to spend... $400,000 knowing 25% of that will probably be devoted to site work and agreeing on a plan that's no more than 1,500 square feet. In our talks we realized we both are fond of buildings that celebrate regional modernism or vernacular architecture, taking cues from historic forms and traditional materials. I created Pinterest boards to compile research on different forms and their relationship to the site, tagging them generally as "modern barn" or "prefab". The sketches above were from a conversation about the volume of the house and how it relates to the steep slope, what wants to be sheltered and where the views are celebrated. This part is fantastic, everything is on the table, everything is a possibility, there's barely reality happening! So, as this adventure progresses ahead there's no point in opting out of the conversation and missing out on the fun, hells no, count me all in!