Tag Archives: modern design

The Final Design for My Tiny Space

These video and pictures include the final footprint of my tiny new space that will undergo construction in November 2018. The furniture and cabinetry are from IKEA but I may do all the design and construction myself which I will post as a separate article. I am so busy that I may not have time to do too many things. I would like to do the bed, the dining set, the side chairs, and the desk if possible. The only change I am contemplating is exposed beams for the ceiling rather than drywall and a solid door from the outside. The other entrance and the bathroom may be frosted glass. The countertops will either be Formica or tile. I am not fond of the current trend of stone, although Corian is not bad. Essentially, anything from the mid-century is fine with me.

 

 

Video:

This video is a little slow and includes my music. This is partly because a friend of mine, who I mean to see it, had a stroke and suffered from some visual distortions. As for the music, I am very much a classical music fan and writing my music means I do not have to worry about copyright infringement.

 

 

HBosler

Self-Portrait in Red.
Self-Portrait in Red.

Designing Modernist

Through all the “ism” in art and architecture, modernist design in architecture refers to the mid-century of the 20th century. So many buildings and residences set the stage for contemporary modern designs. Many of the iconic places so familiar to us have exerted incredible influences on current design to such a degree, that the postmodernist reaction has been to take its elements and add complexity and elaboration similar to the Baroque and Rococo changes from the Renaissance.  In terms of modern style, modernist design suits small and tiny houses much more so than the flamboyance of the contemporary due to the emphasis on what I call direct design; that is, avoidance of unnecessary complications and details.

 

Glass House, Philip Johnson, 1949.
Glass House, Philip Johnson, 1949. By Staib – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7797606

 

Of that stated above, not all is entirely true. Due to the fact that the modernist impulse leads to experimentation and groundbreaking designs, not all modernist fabrications strictly adhered to the International Style such as in the design of the Glass House or the Farnsworth House.

 

Farnsworth House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1945-51.
Farnsworth House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1945-51.

 

Significantly different to the Internationalists, Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs clearly differ to the more rectilinear edifices of the Internationalists such as Mies van der Rohe’s creations.

 

David and Gladys Wright House, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1952.
David and Gladys Wright House, Phoenix, Arizona, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1952.

 

Since this is not a scholarly examination of all the types and elements of all modern architecture, for our purposes we will stick to some of the elements of the International Style.

One always hears or reads the phrase, “…clean lines…” I prefer unadorned or unbroken lines. Modernists seek to find elemental geometry in their vision of the residences they build. The cube, the circle, the triangle becomes their palette. The most important and well-known houses built by modernists possess a Zen-like quality when combined with their surrounding environment.

 

The Bailey House or Case Study House #21, Los Angeles, California, Pierre Koenig, 1958.
The Bailey House or Case Study House #21, Los Angeles, California, Pierre Koenig, 1958.

 

Case Study House #22, The Stahl House, Los Angeles, California, Pierre Koenig, 1959.
Case Study House #22, The Stahl House, Los Angeles, California, Pierre Koenig, 1959.

 

This brings us to the first modernist element. The house should create an atmosphere when combined with its surrounding landscape. This means that those inside feel the influence of the outside landscape through walls of glass, sliding glass doors, large windows, even walls that move to allow access to patios or verandas. Any room might be exposed in some way to views or have access to the outdoors.

 

Mid Century Modern House, Berkeley, California, Roger Lee, 1952.
Mid Century Modern House, Berkeley, California, Roger Lee, 1952.

 

The Hailey Residence, Richard Neutra - bedroom
The Hailey Residence (Bedroom), Los Angeles, California, Richard Neutra, 1959.

 

Many times, where there are no windows or glass walls, modernist architects used clerestory windows and skylights to bring in natural light.

 

The Hailey Residence, Richard Neutra - front
The Hailey Residence, Los Angeles, California, Richard Neutra, 1959. (Notice the clerestory windows all along the top just below the roof.)

 

This brings us to another important element of modern residences. Often times the walls of glass and sliding glass doors were on the sides of the house not facing the street. When, indeed, the front facing the street had considerable glass, screens of sculpted cement block, wood or metal blocked a direct view.

 

Twin Palms, Palm Springs, California, William Krisel, 1957.
Twin Palms, Palm Springs, California, William Krisel, 1957.

 

 

Whittier Public Library, Whittier, California, William Harrison, 1959.
Whittier Public Library, Whittier, California, William Harrison, 1959.

 

Rather than walls, screens were also used for spatial arrangements in the interior as well.

 

Knoll Showroom, Mexico City, Erwin Hauer, 1961.
Knoll Showroom, Mexico City, Erwin Hauer, 1961.

 

Probably the most noticeable and prevalent feature of a modernist, post and lintel dwelling is the exposed skeletal structure. Large beams supporting the roof are left to be admired.

 

Curtis House, New Orleans, Louisiana, John Dinwiddie, 1955.
Curtis House, New Orleans, Louisiana, John Dinwiddie, 1955.

 

Proudly exposing the structure of a building was thought of as an asset, many times, and not to be bashful about. This notion carries over from commercial buildings and high-rises such as the Seagram Building in New York.

 

Seagram Building, New York, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, 1958.
Seagram Building, New York, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, 1958.

 

Of course, when dealing with the International Style modernists, they reveled in using steel for the framework of a residence. This didn’t always carry over from commercial to residential. Besides the more famous structures, most modern houses are framed in wood, especially those made in a modern American Style. At any rate, the readily visible frame claimed a poetic beauty among modern houses.

 

Case Study House #8, Pacific Palisades, California, Charles and Ray Eames, 1949.
Case Study House #8, Pacific Palisades, California, Charles and Ray Eames, 1949.

 

Not all modernist houses in the International Style sported flat roofs. Butterfly, saw-tooth, shed and other unique shapes, such as the hyperbolic parabolic figure into modernist designs.

 

Mid-Century Modern House With Hyperbolic parabolic Roof, New Canaan, Connecticut, by James Evans.
Mid-Century Modern House With Hyperbolic parabolic Roof, New Canaan, Connecticut, by James Evans.

 

An Example of Butterfly Roof On Mid-Century Modern Home.
An Example of Butterfly Roof On Mid-Century Modern Home.

 

Decorative elements became frowned upon in the International Style. However, simple sculptural elements, especially those which supported or supplied a function found their way into their architectural palette. Included among these decorative elements, designers created walls of natural stone or wood that continued from the inside to the outside, repeated arches and columns and simple porticoes or decks that continued and accented the rectilinear quality of the form of the rest of the house.

 

Hooper House, Baltimore, Maryland, Marcel Breuer, 1959.
Hooper House, Baltimore, Maryland, Marcel Breuer, 1959.

 

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington District of Columbia, Edward Durell Stone, 1971.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington District of Columbia, Edward Durell Stone, 1971.

 

Although the above example of repeated columns is not a family residence, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts provides an excellent illustration of how a simple element presents an appealing architectural feature.

Since we have examined basic elements of modernist design of residences, we can create a small house utilizing what we know. Fortunately, Modern Tiny House already has translations of modernist houses from previous articles. See: A Mies van der Rohe Tiny House? and Eames Case Study House #8 Goes Tiny: Complete Addition

 

A Tiny House Version of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe.
A Tiny House Version of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe, the Glass House by Philip Johnson, and Case Study House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames.

 

However, a second article will forward the basic ideas of design and, then, digitally build a modernist tiny house inculcating many of the elements above. Possibly, sometime in the future we will venture a try at tiny, modern organic houses utilizing the elements such as those used by Bruce Goff or Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

Tiny House Version of Case Study House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames.
Tiny House Version of Case Study House #8 by Charles and Ray Eames.

 

HBosler

Self-Portrait in Red.
Self-Portrait in Red.

Diy Outdoor Furniture

I have just published on Amazon a new book. It is about constructing outdoor furniture with distinctive designs, without making complicated cuts, not using complex equipment and no purchasing of expensive materials. All the furniture is made with only 90-degree cuts, utilizing only 1x4s and 2x4s. The book includes 200 illustrations of furniture construction and visual cut lists of the parts.

Outdoor Furniture You Can Make...
Outdoor Furniture You Can Make…Outdoor Furniture You Can Make…

One important aspect of living in a small house, at least for me, is the modernist concept of including the outdoors, or rather, combining the outdoors with the indoors. Therefore, especially if you are a do-it-yourselfer, outdoor furniture designs come in handy. Quite a few are included in this book. Unless you live in the arctic circle, a few pieces of outdoor furniture provides an extra level of comfort. Even nicer is when you can do it yourself stylishly for very little cost.

Nevertheless, the best part of the book is the designs. One chair in particular stands out. It is in De Stijl colors and stands out from the rest. I thought I would share some pictures of this chair. I love the design so much that, like many of the chairs of Mid Century Modern invention, it needs a name to identify its uniqueness.

De Stijl Colored Chair
De Stijl Colored Chair

 

De Stijl Colored Chair with Matching Table
De Stijl Colored Chair with Matching Table

 

Chair with Table
Chair with Table

Dana’s Tiny House

Dana’s tiny house is one that uses many features from the mid-century and takes in influences from the orient. The use of brick and stone were quite familiar during the time for modern residences. Also, this house promotes a sense of solitude and seclusion with a front courtyard meant for relaxation in a private environment.

Dana’s includes many elements that I use over and over in architectural design such as multiple flat roofs at different elevations, clerestory windows just under the roof, and extensive outdoor space to supplement the interior space. As with the mid-century modern designers, I look to keep a close relationship between the indoors and outdoors.

The red metal screens that reside between the brick walls, not only breaks up the expanse of the wall, but also furnishes to lighten the heft of the barrier with enough openings to provide a look into and out of the courtyard space. Only one screen, which is also the gate, is not red in color, leading one to the front entrance.

Smaller version of Dana's tiny house.
Smaller version of Dana’s tiny house.
Front rendered simply and graphically with simple shadowing.
Front rendered simply and graphically with simple shadowing.
Front showing the main gate and the cantilevered roof.
Front showing the main gate and the cantilevered roof.
A slightly different angled view of the front.
A slightly different angled view of the front.
A corner view that shows the metal screens with a Chinese pattern.
A corner view that shows the metal screens with a Chinese pattern.

One of the most intriguing and pleasurable aspects of mid-century modern houses is the adaptation of materials into modern forms. The inculcation of Chinese patterns into a modern structure lends itself to the international appeal of modernist structures. In fact, a great impulse among the modernists derives from the compulsion to boast at the technological advancement in the production and manipulation of materials, especially in large numbers. Unfortunately, the modernists only succeeding in satisfying this impulse with objects and furnishings in terms of widespread acceptance.

A side view from the driveway.
A side view from the driveway.
Corner
Corner.
Coming around to the back showing the rectangular windows of the bathroom.
Coming around to the back showing the rectangular windows of the bathroom.
The back
The back
Around to the other side.
Around to the other side.
The side.
The side.
Coming around back to the front.
Coming around back to the front.
The front gate. The front gate is a different color from the other Chinese screens just to emphasize the way in.
The front gate. The front gate is a different color from the other Chinese screens just to emphasize the way in.

 

The front courtyard.
The front courtyard.
Dana's Tiny House17
The front courtyard from the opposite direction.
Inside the main living area.
Inside the main living area.

The main living area in this version is entirely open and serves space for the kitchen/dining area and the living room. The smaller version of this house has a pullout sofa for sleeping, with a wardrobe for clothes storage. The bathroom, behind the door that is seen in this picture, also has a wardrobe for more items.

The living area. This open space has a 12' ceiling height.
The living area. This open space has a 12′ ceiling height. The door to the bathroom has a transom.
Looking toward the front door and overlooking the dining table.
Looking toward the front door and overlooking the dining table.

In the above view, we see the alternative configuration of windows. In the first iteration, there are glass blocks above the large glass windows. We will see the alternative version, which is bigger and with a bedroom, after we see the smaller house.

The opposite corner from the couch. A wardrobe is in the corner.
The opposite corner from the couch. A wardrobe is in the corner.
The modular kitchen.
The modular kitchen.
Bathroom with door to main living area on the right.
Bathroom with door to main living area on the right.
The toilet and the additional storage.
The toilet and the additional storage.

 

Alternate Plan #2:

Alternate plan with separate bedroom and bathroom plus back patio.
Alternate plan with separate bedroom and bathroom plus back patio.
The front of the alternative version. Gone are the glass blocks in favor of additional windows.
The front of the alternative version. Gone are the glass blocks in favor of additional windows.
The side of the alternative version. The bathroom extension is gone and a patio is added.
The side of the alternative version. The bathroom extension is gone and a patio is added.
The back patio. The door leads to the new bathroom. The bedroom would be on the left.
The back patio. The door leads to the new bathroom. The bedroom would be on the left.
The back patio with retractable awning.
The back patio with retractable awning.
A look from the opposite side of the alternative version.
A look from the opposite side of the alternative version.
Inside the bedroom.
Inside the bedroom.
The bedroom on the opposite side with the door to the bathroom on the left.
The bedroom on the opposite side with the door to the bathroom on the left.
In the alternative bathroom. The door on the right leads to the back patio.
In the alternative bathroom. The door on the right leads to the back patio.
The bathroom vanity with the door to the patio on the left.
The bathroom vanity with the door to the patio on the left.
The toilet and storage cabinet in the bathroom. The wall toward the main living area is painted half black and half white.
The toilet and storage cabinet in the bathroom. The wall toward the main living area is painted half black and half white.
A look at the back patio.
A look at the back patio.
The back patio looking at the door to the bathroom.
The back patio looking at the door to the bathroom.

These two versions of a modern tiny house has many features usually reserved for much larger dwellings. With a courtyard in the front and a patio in the back, plenty of outdoor living is provided. The simple, basic design of the floor plans readily fit all sorts of changes in materials and colors. For instance, instead of brick, the front courtyard enclosure could be surrounded by a metal fence with wood screens of abstract patterns in place of the Chinese screens.

HBosler

Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait

Quonset Huts: Great Idea for a Tiny House

I remember as a child traveling in the car with my parents in the direction of what are called the Foothills in Yuma, Arizona. Yuma, situated on the Colorado River on the border with California and a stone’s throw from Mexico,  was only around 14,000 people at the time and surrounded by a true desert landscape. As we passed along the road toward the barren mountains to the east of Yuma, we would pass the Marine Corps Air Station where flyers from around the world would come to learn military flying. During World War II, the base was an Army flying training center. It was at this time Quonset huts were built for shelter for the troops training at the base. The huts remained there at the time of our passing by. These semicircular buildings seemed like a wonderful, exciting place to live, especially for a child enamored with their inimitable look.

The Quonset hut got its name from the place they were first manufactured, Quonset Point, at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville, Rhode Island on the east coast of the United States. The design came from a structure very familiar to those in the British Commonwealth called the Nissen Hut used during World War I and designed  by Major Peter Norman Nissen. Later during World War II, the design was improved upon and became the Romney Hut in Britain and the Quonset Hut in the United States. After the war, many in Britain, the United States and elsewhere were either torn down, used for commercial or agricultural purposes or converted to housing, with housing being the smallest percentage of reuse.



The biggest advantage of the Quonset Hut and its other manifestations is the speed at which the manufactured shelter could be constructed. Six men could construct a Nissen Hut in about four hours, with a slightly longer time for the other iterations. The reason for the quick construction time results from the simplicity of the parts and how they go together. In the basic form, the Quonset Hut is made of a curved form covered in corrugated steel. To make the walls and the roof, one only need repeat placing metal panels to a curved frame.

 

Quonset Hut at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona

Of course, the World War consumed materials, shipping, manufacturing and man-hours. So the design of the Quonset Hut had to be one that used as few of these things as possible. For the very same reasons, the Quonset Hut today requires a lot less money to purchase than any other sort of residential structure. Much like the geodesic dome and the A-frame, since the roof and the walls compose the same architectural feature, maintenance is also reduced. Large amounts of space are easily covered with this semicircular building and the addition of doors and windows do not amount to anything close to difficulty.

 

Quonset Hut in Arizona

 

 

Is the Quonset hut a modern building? Actually it is a product of the mid-century and has clean lines and a basic form. It uses modern materials and modern techniques for production and construction. It does not require traditional carpentry or building methods. It lends itself to open spaces, without the fractured nature of other types of housing. Missing, however, are the extensive use of glass and the close relationship between indoors and outdoors. Yet not all modern dwellings and structures during the mid-century professed to perpetuate the two concepts. Some Organic and Brutalist architecture ignored the aesthetic of walls of glass and extended outdoor areas. Not all modern design can be defined by just an International Style such as found among the works of Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson or Richard Neutra.

 

[1]

Singleton House in Los Angeles, California by Richard Neutra 1959




So, can a Quonset hut look and feel modern? Here are some examples:

 

Quonset hut designed by the Charles and Ray Eames Office in 1951.

 

Robert Daniels House by James W. Fitzgibbon, completed in 1950. (This image was made after extensive renovations that included a new roof. The old roof was corrugated metal.)

Although technically not a Quonset hut, the Robert Daniels House was constructed using the hut frame and shows what can happen when following the basic shape. The addition of stone, leaving the frame exposed and uncovered on the side allowing large areas of glass, brought this semicircular building to a modern aesthetic.

Robert Daniels House with the corrugated metal roof.

 

Interior view of Robert Daniels House

 

Arc House in East Hampton, New York by Maziar Behrooz Architecture.

Obviously, the arc of a Quonset hut can vary in height and width creating different looks and designs. The frame can be exposed to make glass areas more available. Additions and the use of natural materials can add contrasts to the dominating semi cylindrical roof.

  

Office building for Tangipahoa Consolidated Gravity and Drainage District No. 1 in Tickfaw, Louisiana.

Some random examples:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As one can see, the design possibilities of a Quonset hut are enormous. The construction of a modern dwelling using the semi cylindrical form is indisputable, while at the same time avoiding the expensive, traditional building techniques and materials. Innumerable companies sell kits and materials for Quonset hut construction, which are found widely on the Internet. A little imagination and not a lot of money can put together a modern Quonset hut home.

As for the Quonset hut as a possibility for a tiny house, the idea of a scaled down version from what we have seen above should take very little mental effort:

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out, that as a modern tiny house, the Quonset hut is easily adaptable to a modern structure as well as a small or tiny house. For those interested in a tiny house, the Quonset hut should very much be considered.

Quonset Huts Book
Quonset Huts and more style=



HBosler

self-portrait2.png

 


The Mid-Century A-Frame

When thinking of the mid-century, one rarely thinks of the A-frame. Yet the A-frame was a familiar notion at the time, mainly as a mountain getaway. Indeed, even to this day, the A-frame’s association with the woods and mountain cabins, strikes people as unusual when seen in other environments. Nevertheless, the A-frame has certain advantages over traditional forms.

The A-frame became very popular around 1957 after an article in the New York Times appeared about a beach house built by the modernist architect, Andrew Geller, on Long Island known as the Elizabeth Reese House.

Elizabeth Reese House, Sagaponack, New York, Andrew Geller, 1955. (Courtesy Jake Gorst)




The main interest of an A-frame house comes from the ease and inexpensive construction. Like a dome, the A-frame forms the roof at the same time as the walls, thereby, making the building quicker and less costly. A little time after the publication of the New York Times article, even Macy’s got in on the act and began offering A-frame kits. In fact, purchasing in kit form was quite common as the A-frame reached a peak in popularity.

In 1950, San Francisco architect, John Campbell, designed and built the 540 square foot Leisure House. This led to kits for sale for $5000 and acclaim for his design, further fueling the modernist interest in this type of building on the west coast.

 

Leisure House, California, John Campbell, 1950.
Leisure House, California, John Campbell, 1950.

Modernists enjoyed working with the A-frame because of its basic artistic nature. The triangle finds a supreme place in the arts. From the pediment of the Parthenon to the design of a Renaissance painting, the triangle, along with the rectangle and circle, forms one the simplest and fundamental shapes.

The A-frame, as the result of odd space near the bottom sides and at the very top, were incorporated into larger structures in hotels, resorts, shops and gas stations. Many times the triangle formed a central area with an extension or extensions radiating outward. The most iconic image of the A-frame in the United States is the lodge or hotel cabin.

 

Aspen Inn Motel - Fort Klamath, OR, United States. Super cute A Frame Cabins
Aspen Inn Hotel, Fort Klamath, Oregon.

Because of the unique space of the A-frame, most usually have a loft, typically a sleeping area.

Aspen Inn Motel - Fort Klamath, OR, United States. Upstairs loft in the A-frame.  Great for kids.
Aspen Inn Hotel, Fort Klamath, Oregon. (Loft Area).

The A-frame is extremely simple to construct and kits are still available.

Example of the framing of an A-frame, small house.

The A-frame can have a very modern look with plenty of glass and some slight modifications to the basic design.

THE A FRAME HOUSE:

Or one can settle for a rather plain, common look for the A-frame.



cabin fever:

a frame cabin:

a-frame:

Duplex Paris:

Rustic gets a modern edge but keeps its pedigree in a lakeside vacation cabin, thanks to a thoughtful renovation by its architect owner:

Modern A frame cabin:

A-Frame Resurgence - A-Frame House - Bob Vila:

small modern house designs in triangular shape:

10 A-frame House Designs – For A Simple Yet Unforgettable Look:

http://www.decoist.com/2011-11-10/black-cladded-vb4-extension-creating-a-new-sun-filled-dream-home/:

A mid-century modern A-frame in Atlanta via Northcrest Modern:

Beautiful A Frame in the snow:

Cottage Life-- Mobile -- Straight As for these beautifully designed A-frame cabins:

Before & After: An A-Frame Cottage Gets an A+ Renovation | Design*Sponge:

Contemporary take on A-frame. Architect Kengo Kuma's Y-Hütte, in Eastern Japan:

Modern and Luxurious Tiny A-frame Cabin 001:

An Ultra-Minimalist Cabin Takes A-Frames To The Limit | Co.Design: business + innovation + design:

AMAZING A-FRAME HOMES: mid-century #modern living room with #natural lighting + #retro furniture:

Mount Washington A-Frame:

Catshuis aan Zee - huis in A-vorm:

illuminated A-frame at night:

Desanka's Visionary Lux Lodge — House Tour | Apartment Therapy:

A Frame Home Decorating Ideas | Frame House | Home Exterior Design Ideas:

A Frame | Flickr - Photo Sharing!:

a frame houses | The A-frame is the epic combo of modern meets mountain meets retro ...:

Far Meadow Base Camp, Sierra National Forest:

A-frame:

Contemporary-mountain-House-Design-Ideas-with-Extraordinary-and-Beautiful-View-in-Snowy-image, Pyrenees, Paris:

An A-Frame Cabin for a Snowboarding Family in Whistler:

hiroshi nakamura, hiroshi nakamura & NAP, japanese architecture, nasu tepee, teepee-inspired homes, timber homes, small homes, small homes in the woods:

 

Here are some mid-century A-frame designs:

Mid-Century Vacation Home Graphic | The Johnsons' Mid-Century Time Travel Guide #midcentury #vacationhome #illustration:

 

Vintage Cabins | Mid-Century Modern | A-Frame House | Residential Architecture | Home Ideas | Interior Design:

No roof rake needed.:

ARCHINOWHERE 06_study Art Print:

Modern Vacation Homes Atomic A Frames Chalets Eames Era Floor Plans Mid Century | eBay:

Mid-Century Modern Vacation Home Plans, via grainedit.com/2009/05/25/mid-century-modern-home-plans:

//:

a-frame interior:

 

The A-frame makes a good fit for a tiny house. The open plan and the lack of expensive and time-consuming labor, allow for a modern house requiring less maintenance. The fact that the roof is the walls means less painting, for example. For a house off the grid, the angle of the roof permits the perfect collection of solar energy if pointed in the right direction.

The construction of an A-frame house does not demand sophisticated knowledge of techniques as used in an average house. Rather, it is like two lean-tos built against each other or a hard shell “tent”. Once the few angles are known, the building becomes rather simple.

Artistically, a modern style comes just as easy as the construction. Roofing made of modern materials such as steel and interiors utilizing the many modern surfaces available today, plus the edition of mid-century modern furniture, takes the A-frame from backwoods cabin to modern dwelling.

Just a treat, if you are from the US, especially from the western US, you remember the ubiquitous at the time Der Weinerschnitzel:

A-frame Roof Weinerschnitzel Restaurant in Whittier, California.
The Original International House of Pancakes.
The original Tastee-Freez, Perris, California.
A Former Heap-Big-Beef, Mill Brae, California.
A Former Nickerson Farms in Arizona.



Whataburger A Frame
Whataburger in Corpus Christi, Texas.

HBosler

Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait

A Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Tiny House

This design is a variation on the Round House. Many of the rectilinear elements of the Round House are removed and replaced with curved forms. The main inspiration for this tiny house comes from two houses in Phoenix, Arizona known as the David and Gladys Wright Home and the Norman Lykes Home. Both these houses are examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s later style which is seen in the Guggenheim Museum and Gammage Auditorium.

Guggenheim Museum 1959.
Guggenheim Museum 1959.

 

Gammage Auditorium 1964.
Gammage Auditorium 1964.

The Norman Lykes Home was the last house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959, the year of his death. The home’s completion came in 1967. Created with concentric circles, the house sits perched above a desert valley and lyrically repeats the organic motifs of circles and half circles. As typical, Frank Lloyd Wright also designed much of the furniture as well as the built-ins in both houses.

The Norman Lykes Home, Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home, Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Office), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Office), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Living Room), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Living Room), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Master Bath), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury
The Norman Lykes Home (Master Bath), Completed in 1967 by FLW’s Apprentice John Rattenbury

 

The David and Gladys Wright house was a house designed for FLW’s son and daughter-in-law and completed in 1952. Wright brought the house off the desert floor with sweeping circles much like the helical walkways of the Guggenheim Museum.

House + Home Magazine Article on the David and Gladys Wright Home, June 1953.
House + Home Magazine Article on the David and Gladys Wright Home, June 1953.
David and Gladys Wright Home
David and Gladys Wright Home
David and Gladys Wright Home Interior View
David and Gladys Wright Home Interior View

 

The Round House easily lent itself to redesign based upon influences seen in the above two residences.

The Round House
The Round House

Expunging the roofs and linear effects of the front walls, left room for an ascending curve, directing visitors to the front door.

FLW-House.png

The cantilevered, extended roofs are replaced with semi-circular ones while leaving the ascending, sweeping effect of the different circular heights, giving an organic feel to the design. Since this is a tiny house, the house is left on the ground rather than elevated, but another creation with this element would demand some significant changes. The clerestory windows now have an inverted semi-circular shape, a favorite of FLW. Glass blocks, in order to bring the plans back to the 1950s, replace the windows in the bedroom section. The building still is balanced by rectangular patios off the bedroom and in front of the living room. The low, rock wall now curves and ascends toward the entry door.

FLW-House2.png

FLW-House3.png

FLW-House4.png

FLW-House5.png

FLW-House6.png

FLW-House7.png

FLW-House8.png

FLW-House9.png

FLW-House10.png

Fortunately, the extreme changes on the outside did not require wholesale changes on the inside. The movement of the front door caused a couple of furniture re-orientations, but that is all. However, considering the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, the style of furniture and the nature of the built-ins, the finishes inside almost demand a change to something matching the organic architecture.

FLW House Floor Plan
FLW House Floor Plan

If you would like to read further about the two Frank Lloyd Wright houses referenced, an extensive article at Mid Century Modern Groovy discusses both houses as well as their influences.

HBosler

http://www.moderntinyhouse.org

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Self-Portrait

Charlie’s Tiny House: Mid Century Modern

Using the same inspiring mid-century modern arch from Patricia’s Tiny House, I have separated the form, similar to a pilaster, from surface decoration and surrounded a tiny dwelling ¾ of the way with arches. Charlie’s Tiny House, much like Patricia’s is totally influenced by the modernity of 20th century American design. The introduction of curved shapes while maintaining an overall rectilinear plan is seen over and over again in modern architecture from dinners such as Sambo’s to burger joints such as McDonald’s.

  

Sambo’s restaurants were an incredible source of mid-century architecture, which included fanciful roofs, rough stone walls and long stretches of windows. Most were original and delightfully playful in their artistic exuberance.


1587 Shawano Avenue, Green Bay, Wisconsin, McDonald’s Speedee Sign, Built:   c1959, Style:   Mid-Century Commercial, Singular example of iconic McDonald’s metal and neon sign dating to the late 1950’s in Wisconsin. Features include the company’s trademark mascot, “Speedee,” and golden arch design.   This sign remains in its original location, and was recently restored.  

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The “front entrance” of Charlie’s Tiny House.

 

I have never understood some preconceived notions about house design such as the aspect facing the street should have a front entrance. Famous mid-century modern architects many times set the entrance back, hid the front facing the street with sculpted block or walls and reserved walls of glass for the unseen areas in the so-called back of the house. Charlie’s does not necessarily have a front, but does have entrances. The two doors at the corner of the house lighten the heavy effect of the red stained, wood covered exterior and balance the two long windows on either side.

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A more direct view of the “front”.

The Rietveld chairs, combined with a Platner coffee table, sets a mid-century modern mood, which continues around the rest of the veranda. Mid-century pendant lamps keep the influence going.

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888-1964), Dutch, active 20th century, Red-Blue Chair, designed 1917–18, produced ca. 1950, Painted beech and plywood, Layton Art Collection, Inc., Milwaukee Art Museum. Photo credit: John Nienhuis

 

Charlie's Tiny House3.pngA corner of the house showing the continuation of the yellow arches, the tall, narrow windows of the bedroom and the cement planters.

Charlie's Tiny House4.pngDirect view of the veranda with the Wassily Chairs by Marcel Breuer, 1925.

Charlie's Tiny House5.pngComing around the corner.

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Straight on view of the side opposite the “front” entrances showing the boulder garden, Lombardi poplars and the French doors leading to the kitchen/dining room.

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An oblique view.

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A closer look exposing the cement, elevated planters and the Grand Confort Chairs by Le Corbusier.

Grand Confort Chair by Le Corbusier (1929).

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This image displays the side of the house with the sanded, stained and clear coated wood strips reflecting the living area extension. The casement window at the roof line is repeated inside.

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Image looking back toward the raised planters and boulder garden.

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Direct view of the side with an entrance on the right.

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Back around to the “front” entrances with a better look at the Rietveld “de Stijl” chairs.

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Coming in through one of the “front” entrances and seeing the living area. The door is to the bathroom. Notice the window above the door.

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A less elevated look at the living area with the door to the bathroom ahead.

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The television console with the door to the bedroom to the right, the door to the bathroom on the left and the dining area straight ahead.

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The bedroom with the two long windows.

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The bedroom with desk and wardrobe.

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Out of the bedroom and looking at the kitchen/dining area. Notice the windows to the bedroom and to the bathroom.

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The kitchen and dining area with the French doors to the veranda on the left.

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The dining area and French doors to the veranda.

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The bathroom covered on the left with the same material on the exterior of the house.

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The bathroom with the door to the living area on the right.

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The bathroom windows.

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Looking back toward the entrances.

This small house is only around 360 sq. ft. and appears much larger due to the ceiling height at 12 ft. The long windows not only let in considerable light, but  also produce a feeling of greater space. One other advantage of tall walls is the ability to hang large artwork which produces a feeling of spaciousness as well.

Charlie’s Tiny House Floor Plan

HBosler

http://www.moderntinyhouse.org

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20+ Beautiful Staircases – Design Milk

This is a wonderful article on staircases, which is of keen interest to tiny house creators and dwellers. Many of the designs are quite unique, if not artistic. See these on Design Milk: http://design-milk.com/20-beautiful-modern-staircases/

Alternating Stairs

Here is a short video:

Here are some others that should lead you to the idea that stairs have a greater design flexibility than you would think:

Darla’s Tiny House

This particular design is entirely open which, along with the tall ceilings, creates a feeling of spaciousness. Also, because of the simple open space inside, the activity areas are easily changed. However, because of the orientation of the entrance, the best layout generally is the one portrayed.

The floor plan is rather simple, but attempts an artistic flare with successive vertical rectilinear forms and a walk-through that brings one to the front door. The bathroom has a different roof line and compliments the recess that forms the entrance.

Darla's tiny house floor plan.
Darla’s tiny house floor plan.
Darla's Tiny House3
The front of the house with its’ simple ordered design. Primarily cinder-block, the house is 346 sq. ft.
This is the front of the house with an alternate configuration.
This is the front of the house with an alternate configuration having an entrance instead of a window.
The alternate configuration at night.
The alternate configuration at night.
A straight-on view of the front.
A straight-on view of the front. The front entrance is to the left walk-way, around the corner.
Proceeding around to the side patio.
Proceeding around to the side patio.
The patio and beginning to see some of the bathroom extension.
The patio and beginning to see some of the bathroom extension.
A closer look at the patio.
A closer look at the patio and a side of the bathroom extension. Notice the design of the roof lines.
The patio and bathroom extension.
The patio and bathroom extension.
The back of the bathroom extension.
The back of the bathroom extension. Notice how the corners on the right mimic the roof line on the left.
Here we see the entrance and the vertical sculptural forms that leads to it.
Here we see the entrance and the vertical, sculptural forms that leads to it, emphasizing the rectilinear design.
Showing the north side of the house.
Showing the north side of the house.
North elevation.
North elevation.
North side view at a higher elevation.
North side view at a higher elevation.
Looking at the walk-through to the entrance.
Looking at the walk-through to the entrance.
The entrance.
The entrance.
Peeking through the entry door into the living area.
Peeking through the entry door into the living area.
The living area and the sleeping area.
The living area and the sleeping area.
A dining area with the bed to the left.
A dining area with the bed to the left.
Kitchen/dining area with the living area and entrance to the right.
Kitchen/dining area with the living area and entrance to the right.
Looking back from the bed
Looking back from the bed, across the living area with the entrance to the left and the bathroom door directly ahead.
The bathroom vanity.
The bathroom vanity.
Standing in the shower cabinet
Standing in the shower cabinet, looking through to the closet with the vanity on the right.
Standing in front of the closet
Standing in front of the closet and looking back toward the shower cabinet and toilet.

 

One of the nicest part of this design is the simplicity, and therefore, the ease at which this house could be constructed. Most likely the cost is low to produce this structure because of the lack of segmentation. The only separate space is the bathroom. Not only would this tiny house work as a main residence, but would work well as a comfy guest house. Another significant cost reduction would occur due to the use of standard items such as windows and doors. This little house maybe simple; yet it is artistically pleasing.

HBosler

Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait