Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Schematic Design of High End Residence

Schematic Design of High End Residence

While reading a book on the architecture projects of one of my favorite architects, Tadao Ando, I was inspired by the simplicity of his designs and materials. As one of the architects who quickly became known in the world of architecture at the end of the modern era, Ando’s works focus on connecting people with their inner being and nature through simple design and use of materials among many other things. After learning more about his inspirational work, I continued designing the high end residence using some of the design ideas from seeing Ando’s projects. Here’s how the high end residence’s design is coming along.

Finalizing the form of the house

From where I left off the design last week, I had to figure out the overall form of the house before adding windows to the project. Keeping the design as simple as possible, I decided to have a shed roof over the entire house sloping towards the east, which is the residential side of the site. Then, I decided to add a parking garage on the side of the house, which meant that the walkway at the front entry had to be enlarged. This simple addition would have a large enough space for one car to park with room to store supplies.

Lastly, I added an outdoor patio on the ground floor of the house that has an exterior staircase leading down to the lower garden level. As I made these design decisions for the form of the house I noticed that the lower garden area would be a great place for a family to gather or to be outdoors. The solid retaining walls create a visually private environment while being open to the elements.

Deciding on window types and locations

After the form of the house was finalized, I began designing the window layout and deciding on types of windows to be used on the house. Starting with the window type, I decided that the operable windows would be narrow and tall casement windows that swing out toward the prevailing winds from the southwest. This would allow the residents to cool their home from the middle of the spring to the middle of the fall. The other type of window would be fixed windows that would allow light to enter the space, but won’t operate. Lastly, there will be a full 4 panel sliding door system to open the interior spaces of the house to the exterior on the garden level.

As I began placing the windows in the house, I decided that the garage would have 3 fixed windows with translucent glazing to allow light to enter the garage, but maintain privacy. Along the ground floor of the house, there will be casement windows spaced evenly along the west and south facades. Currently, these windows are also on the east façade, however, I’m deciding if I want to eliminate these windows and use skylights instead. Above these casement windows are fixed windows to allow more light to enter the space from above. Aside from the 4 panel sliding door on the garden level of the house, there will also be one leading onto the ground floor patio.

During this phase of the design, I started to realize that the house has an internal concept where every element seems to be focused on the internal garden space. This sunken garden allows for a strong connection between the residents and nature through the design of the house because all of the windows provide views of the garden.

Next Steps

Over the upcoming week, I’ll begin designing the interior of the house along with the remainder of the windows. This might lead to some windows slightly shifting or providing a different layout on the garden level of the house. I’ll also be brainstorming some ideas for the design of the garden, which is a major feature of this high end residence. Stay tuned for more!

5 Tips for Starting an Architecture Project

5 Tips for Starting an Architecture Project