Tag Archives: tiny house design

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

Peter’s Tiny House

Peter’s Tiny House is one based on my favorite geometric shape, the square. Although a great part of this square belongs to the outdoors, this tiny house has a substantial feeling of space. The house occupies 469 sq. ft. of enclosed space with 256 sq. ft. of covered patio.

The floor plan consists of 3 distinct architectural areas: the living room and bathroom area, the kitchen and dining area and the bedroom. The living room/bathroom and the bedroom radiate from the central kitchen in rectangles, whereas the kitchen maintains a square mimicking the overall shape of the entire structure.

Peter's Tiny House Floor Plan
Peter’s Tiny House Floor Plan

Each section maintains a different roofline, with the kitchen area the highest at 12 feet. The various areas gather further distinction by the use of different materials. The kitchen square brandishes a natural stone covering, while the rest of the house is sheathed in steel, except for the patio which introduces bleached wood siding. The use of different materials serves to accent different aspects of the architecture. The stone covering around the kitchen continues inside to accentuate the central nature of this room.

Diversion from the square occurs along the roofline of the bedroom and patio. It extends out to accommodate the modern column providing support. On the matter of the column, the pure blue of the column provides a color contrast to the warmer colors in the stone and to enhance the effect of the steel and bleached wood. It also provides a balance with the brighter colors inside, granting the blue part of the primary colors from the yellow on the walls and the red floor in the kitchen.

Peter's Tiny House Roof Over Patio and Bedroom.
Peter’s Tiny House Roof Over Patio and Bedroom.

 

Front of Peter's Tiny House.
Front of Peter’s Tiny House.
Directly in Front.
Directly in Front.
Front at an Angle.
Front at an Angle.
Side of House.
Side of House.
Side and Patio View Showing Different Roof-lines.
Side and Patio View Showing Different Roof-lines.
Side, Patio and Back of Peter's Tiny House.
Side, Patio and Back of Peter’s Tiny House.
Patio and Back Side View.
Patio and Back Side View.
Back of house with the bedroom section on the right.
Back of house with the bedroom section on the right.
Back and corner of the house.
Back and corner of the house.
Side opposite of patio with the bedroom section on the left and the kitchen area on the right.
Side opposite of patio with the bedroom section on the left and the kitchen area on the right. The combination of narrow and wider windows on corners of the house repeats around the house.
Coming back around to the front showing the stone clad kitchen section with the bedroom on the left and the front on the right.
Coming back around to the front showing the stone clad kitchen section with the bedroom on the left and the front on the right.
Front door with the kitchen on the right and the living room/bathroom on the left.
Front door with the kitchen on the right and the living room/bathroom on the left.
Living room looking towards kitchen with the bathroom on the left.
Living room looking towards kitchen with the bathroom on the left.
Looking toward the kitchen from the living room.
Looking toward the kitchen from the living room.
Looking at the living room from the kitchen with the patio to the left.
Looking at the living room from the kitchen with the patio to the left.
Looking up at the clerestory windows surrounding the bathroom.
Looking up at the clerestory windows surrounding the bathroom.
Another look at the bathroom clerestory windows.
Another look at the bathroom clerestory windows.
Looking up inside the bathroom.
Looking up inside the bathroom.
In the bathroom, looking toward the vanity and door.
In the bathroom, looking toward the vanity and door.
View of bathroom floor, looking toward the shower cabinet.
View of bathroom floor, looking toward the shower cabinet.
The shower cabinet.
The shower cabinet.
Kitchen counter and cabinets. The living room is to the left.
Kitchen counter and cabinets. The living room is to the left.
Dining area with the door to the bedroom on the right.
Dining area with the door to the bedroom on the right.
Showing the kitchen ceiling and its clerestory windows and pendant light.
Showing the kitchen ceiling and its clerestory windows and pendant light.
Kitchen area with the door to the bedroom on the left and the living room on the right.
Kitchen area with the door to the bedroom on the left and the living room on the right.
Door to the bedroom.
Door to the bedroom.
View of front door and living room.
View of front door and living room.
Showing the door to the kitchen from the bedroom with the patio on the left.
Showing the door to the kitchen from the bedroom with the patio on the left.
The patio on the left.
The patio on the left.
Patio door.
Patio door.
Looking at bed with the patio on the right and the dresser on the left.
Looking at bed with the patio on the right and the dresser on the left.
Dresser in the bedroom.
Dresser in the bedroom.
On the patio.
On the patio.

 

This design puts forth the strong idea that a modern look at the simplest geometric forms leads to an infinite number of possibilities. As can be seen in the main floor-plan, the foot print of this house forms a perfect square, which is hardly creatively restrictive. By switching sections of this design, by making the patio in the area of the bedroom and visa versa, for instance, one could free up space for a two bedroom house or a much larger bedroom. Even so, this house occupies less than 500 sq. ft., yet is quite spacious.

This is a little video I made of this house design:

HBosler

Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait

 

 

 

 

 

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

Modern Small Kitchen Design

The nature of the kitchen in small houses varies as much as the wants and desires of the number of people who have small kitchens. Some people want large appliances for a gourmet experience, some require little space, preferring simplicity and efficiency. The configurations for kitchens in tiny houses are also widely varied with modular kitchenette to custom cabinetry and individually purchased devices.

The complete kitchen unit, as shown in this image, has advantages over custom-built kitchens. Not only does one know the exact dimensions of the unit, but also the entire features as well as cost. Such a unit should generally cost between 1200-1300 and 2200 dollars. Any sort of complicated or time-consuming carpentry is negated. Plus, many companies offer a considerable number of designs and sizes and styles. Gas or electric, installation usually takes little time and the models are not particularly heavy.

Although the modular kitchen is usually complete, it does have the draw back of a lack of customization. The appliances are well set and a larger refrigerator or bigger stove is not always possible. A unique construction allows, of course, for an almost infinite variety of configurations, depending on the space. The materials and finishes on either type will determine cost. However, customization allows for a wide consideration of the materials used. Even used appliances, unique materials, and reclaimed objects reduce prices. Conversely, expensive materials can be used if the budget permits.

Tiny house DIYers have long known that picking things up at thrift stores and garage sales and transforming pieces of furniture or objects into something else, combines the notion of pre-made and customization. For instance, a mid-century modern credenza can be reworked into a sink and counter for the kitchen or bathroom.

The great thing about using free-standing furniture in fitting out a kitchen is that everything is movable. Rearranging or remodeling involves less tearing down and cleaning up. Besides accommodating unique problems in a space, the ability to adjust and reorganize also allows one to change the nature of the space such as in the definition between living and dining rooms. A piece can act as a room divider, for instance. Since many found objects don’t usually garner great expenditures, plowing right into a transformation doesn’t create much anxiety, either. Depending on the creativity of the designer, the results can offer great satisfaction. Using a credenza as a bathroom vanity as in this image, only alludes to the great number of possibilities involved in re-purposing items.

Not only do people redo used furniture, but inexpensive shelving and other pieces from Ikea or other stores indulge the creative impulses of “hackers” who turn these pieces into all sorts of items without spending a lot of money.

Some ideas don’t require elaborate planning and execution. Many times a bit of paint or adding some legs are all that is necessary in creating a one of a kind design. However, with modern ideas, by keeping things simple, one can never go wrong.

Ikea Shelving Made Into Kitchen Storage
Ikea Shelving Made Into Kitchen Storage

 

 

A tiny house kitchen needn’t perform inefficiently or not provide enough space. As is mentioned over and over again regarding tiny houses, vertical space affords a great deal of organizing solutions. Pegboards or hooks will handle utensils, pans and spice racks to name a few, for example. Cabinets and shelving that go all the way to the ceiling, with access by step stool, will ease storage shortages. Yet storage should not be limited to the particular area. Nothing is wrong with placing non-kitchen items in excess space, regardless of the traditional notions concerning functions. In a small house, nothing is too far away.

Great way to keep small appliances off of countertops. ---6 Organization Lessons to Learn from Tiny Houses | Apartment Therapy:

 

Central to the whole concept of any kitchen the single most important question arises, “What do I actually use a kitchen for?” Many people have more kitchen than they really need simply because they have an image in their mind of occasions that may not actually happen all that often, if at all. Thinking carefully and objectively about how one uses a kitchen is essential for the proper kitchen. Too much kitchen eats up valuable room and upsets the free flow of space, consuming budgets and time. If in anticipation of preparing a meal for a major holiday once a year inflates the size of a kitchen, a good hard look at what one truly wants becomes necessary. Better yet, be creative and include in the design a way to expand the kitchen and dining areas temporarily, while keeping the kitchen an appropriate size for the rest of the time. For those of us lucky enough to live in a balmy climate, of course, the outdoors can furnish plenty of cooking, eating and entertaining space.

- To connect with us, and our community of people from Australia and around the world, learning how to live large in small places, visit us at www.Facebook.com/TinyHousesAustralia or at www.TinyHousesAustralia.com:

 

Dining Table and Seating Pull Out Of Kitchen by Alno - - To connect with us, and our community of people from Australia and around the world, learning how to live large in small places, visit us at www.Facebook.com/TinyHousesAustralia:

I would love to have an outdoor kitchen and do something like this. So cool it is like a Murphy picnic table. : ):

Tiny House Basics on Tiny House Swoon - to seat 6 for dining indoor/outdoor or for large work-surface indoors and on deck or porch:

 

critter mobile kitchen: Initially envisioned to be moved between indoor and outdoor spaces, the system works especially well in the house. And with dimensions 240 cm x 65 cm x h 91 cm – it can fit even in a small studio apartment.:

 

One of the greatest things about modern design is that nothing is fixed to tradition or period style. A modern kitchen includes what one wants without regard to what preconceived notions one has about what a kitchen should be. Not all functions of a kitchen need be in one place, for example. The kitchen can fold up or hide or flow outdoors. So many modern designers from the 20th century through the present have created amazing, magical ideas for kitchen design, that with a little research, one can find a solution to any problem or desire.

Bon Appetit

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

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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

self-portrait.jpg

Self-Portrait

The Round House

The Round House is based on mid-century modern styles, except this time on a more organic and less International flair. A juxtaposition of curved and rectilinear forms, although they might seem in conflict, produces an interesting contrast between the opposing thrusts in the design.

Round-House1

Front entrance to the Round House showing the roof over the bedroom and front portico.

 

The building is composed of two cylinders of different heights with cantilevered roofs projecting over separate areas, one, the front entrance and the other an enclosed private patio. Also, the two roofs are composed of different materials, further separating the two visually. The split between the two halves are further delineated by color, the bedroom/bath is dark in color and the living/kitchen area is white. Introduction of a rectangular front porch as well as a rectangular private patio, mirrors the roof structure, with the roofs providing a practical cover for both. For the cylinders that make up the two distinct areas of the design, the outer walls should properly be constructed with a visually smooth, paintable surface such as fine textured stucco or metal. A cement block or brick surface would diminish the overall aesthetic. However, with significant changes, this house could use a variety of materials and finishes.

Round-House3

A better view of the two roof lines and clerestory windows.

Round-House4

A view of the side of the house with a look at the curving form of the taller section.

Round-House5

Beginning to see the sculptural nature of the two semicircles.

Round-House6

The metal roof casts interesting shadows against the curved, white surface.

Round-House7

The soft curves of living/kitchen area starkly contrast with the sharp angles of the roof and private patio on the right.

Round-House8

The differences between shapes and shadows reminds me of paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe of Santa Fe structures.

 

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ranchos Church, Number 1, 1929, oil on canvas, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL.

Round-House9

Coming around to the other side we see the enclosed, private patio covered by the cantilevered roof of the tallest semicircle.

Round-House10

A direct side view displaying the different roof elevations and the contrast between dark and white.

Round-House11

We see the repetition and rise of the angular forms and the windows which only face the front.

Round-House12

The long stretches of roof thrust in different directions. The long, short stone wall helps to weaken the stark dark and white influence by introducing natural colors all along the front, directing the eye to the front entrance.

Round-House13

We get a closer look at the front portico.

Round-House14

Peeking into the front window at the living room.

Round-House15

On the other side of the front window with a view of the front portico. The wall on the right hides the kitchenette and small dining area.

Round-House16

Looking into the dining area with the wall to the kitchenette on the left.

Round-House17

Looking back toward the front entrance and living room.

Round-House18

The dining area on the right and the kitchenette on the left. The door on the left leads to the bathroom and the door to the right to the bedroom.

Round-House19

The kitchenette with the door to the right to the bathroom.

Round-House20

The bathroom which is formed from the  curved outer wall and a curved inside wall that altogether is like a Gothic arch.

Round-House21

Outside the bathroom door and in the bedroom. The vanity for the bathroom is in the main space of the bedroom, much like one would see in a hotel.

Round-House22

Looking across the curve of the bedroom with the glass door on the right to the private patio.

Round-House23

Seeing through the glass doors into the private patio.

Round-House24

Looking back toward the bedroom.

Round-House-Floor-Plan

The Round House Floor Plan

 

Obviously, the Round House is composed of two half-cylinders with rectangular areas on either side of their union. The cantilevered roofs give covers for each end of the design. The private patio is just that, very private due to the high walls creating total seclusion off the bedroom, with the roof still 4 feet from the top of the patio walls. Windows are limited to the front and high clerestory windows provide a lot of light without diluting the space for furniture and wall space. In order to also offer this light to the bathroom, the surrounding walls (not seen in the images) go up 8 feet, 2 feet below the ceiling, allowing light from the clerestory windows to leak in.

As difficult as it is to design suitable space using circular forms, this particular design is quite flexible. By changing the roofs or changing surrounding spaces, the house can look and live very differently. Having recently examined a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix, Arizona that uses his trademark round shapes, I have already produced a variation on this house with a strong influence of Wright and will post that very soon. Keep watching.

HBosler

Self-Portrait
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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Patricia’s Tiny House

One of my keen interests in design or architecture is the forms of the mid-century. Modern design lends itself to so many variations that an inexhaustible supply of ideas becomes available. Furthermore, modern design is not only in the realm of commercial and typical residential building, but also in terms of the tiny house movement. In an effort to spur creativity in this realm, I have developed the notion of creating some architectural motifs and patterns whose usefulness brings on new concepts.

These architectural details fall into the American version of modernism with sculpted cement blocks and forms, zigzag roofs and other sorts of applied decorations. Organic architecture will also be considered in formulating designs.

"Lincoln Center by Matthew Bisanz" by Matthew G. Bisanz
“Lincoln Center by Matthew Bisanz” by Matthew G. Bisanz

Arizona State University Library in Tempe in the 1960s
Arizona State University Library in Tempe in the 1960s

Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, Arizona, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright 1962-64
Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, Arizona, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright 1962-64

 

The form I developed for Patricia’s Tiny House is a sculpted modern arch. The arches are mainly applied decoration, except the yellow arches support the roof over the patio and entrance to the house. Also included and in contrast to the arches are rectangular forms on the roof with glass panels on either end. These mimic the frequent zigzag pattern in overhangs, roofs and porches  seen in many American mid-century modern buildings, especially small, commercial structures or on schools and hospitals.

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Front of Patricia’s Tiny House.

The entrance is to the right, off the patio. Looking through the two large glass panels framed by arches, the living area and kitchen are on the right, while we see a study area in the middle. The bedroom and bathroom are covered by the filled in arch on the left.

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View of front from a slight angle.

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Another view of the front at a higher sight line.

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At this angle we are able to see the patio and entrance.

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Showing the patio and entrance head on.

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At an angle that, along with the patio, shows the back of building.

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The back of the building where we see the multiple arches framing the half-circle, clerestory windows. The rounded forms which push upward are resolved by the triangular shapes on the roof.

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A more graphic, drawn image of the arches that surround the tiny house.

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The Arches.

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The side of the house opposite the patio.

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Coming back around to the front.

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A closer view of the front.

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Peeking through one of the large windows and looking at the living area with the kitchen in the distance.

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The kitchen area with large frig, washer/dryer, cook top, and convection oven.

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Looking at the living area from the kitchen with the entrance on the left.

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The living area, as well as a space for study.

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From the kitchen area, we look into the study and bedroom area. The door on the right is to the bathroom.

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Inside the bathroom, showing the vanity and toilet.

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Toilet, shower in the bathroom. Behind is the door to the rest of the tiny house.

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Simple floor plan of the tiny house showing the basic dimensions. Patricia’s Tiny House is 387 interior sq. ft.

As one can see, the introduction of a couple of architectural elements can give a basis for the overall design, in this case, arches and triangular forms. I find the arches extremely pleasing and thought-provoking, which will start many variations for future proposals. Hopefully, since so many things spring to mind, that the use of various mid-century modern motifs and details won’t begin to bore the reader. However, I have already thought of several buildings using the inspiration of the major features of Patricia’s Tiny House.

Until then…

 

HBosler

 

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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

Eames Case Study House #8 Goes Tiny

I have done a reduction or tiny house variation of a Philip Johnson and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Now I have designed a tiny house based upon the Eames Case Study House #8. One of my favorite case study houses, the Eames House is International in style, while not as severe as some of the iconic houses of the Internationalists.

Eames Case Study House showing the side overhang. The wall retains the hill on the other side.
Eames Case Study House showing the side overhang. The wall retains the hill on the other side.

The history of the Case Study House Program can be found by clicking this link. No sense repeating what has been described in other articles.



The Eames House is located in California at Pacific Palisades. The significance of this house comes from the fact that the house was designed by Ray and Charles Eames as a personal residence and constructed in 1949. A house that the architect will live in, generally displays in detail the tastes and desires of the designer, as in contrast to the possible compromises made in building for others.

This residence has two floors and two buildings. One is the main building and the other is studio space. Avant-garde for the time, the rectilinear, window clad walls features areas of primary colors and white and black that gives the feel of a Mondrian painting. The windows, however, are broken up visually, not only by the solid, rectangular areas but by a large number of mullions framing the glass. Essentially, the complex is composed of two rectilinear buildings, with the main building about 2 times the size of the smaller studio building and stretched along the same axis. The structures were built with off-the-shelf parts.

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By looking at the floor plan, one can see the balance in the design. If one includes the courtyard with the studio, the space taken is about the size of the main building. The layout avoids complexity with unnecessary rooms that one finds in many residences these days. This house also makes a statement about living and work by actually physically separating the spaces, yet retaining the orientation of the two buildings and attaching the two with walkways and courtyard.

The original design of this house was concocted by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen and proposed an elaborate, raised cantilevered form that projected over the drive and front yard. Fortunately, Charles and Ray Eames got together, after spending times among the lush landscape, and created a design less demanding on the environment, replacing the very dramatic with a solemnity and cooperation with nature.

This house was so successful that the Charles and Ray Eames lived there the rest of their lives.

The Studio
The Studio

Studio
Studio
Studio Interior
Studio Interior

The Tiny House Version:

The tiny house version seeks to keep the outward appearance of the Eames House while adding a few additional features fundamental to the new design. Of course, the changes made could be applied to a larger footprint and present exciting design variations. This tiny house is only 287 sq. ft.

NOTE: In this particular presentation, the walk-ways, courtyard, and studio have not been taken into account. A more elaborate version including these things plus a bedroom loft will be posted soon. Obviously, a tiny house including these extra features will consist of a larger footprint.

Side Portico at night.
Side Portico at night.

The side overhang acts a portico and, since there are doors all around the structure, acts as a front entrance, even though this is a side of the Eames House.

Same image with full sunlight.
Same image with full sunlight.

I used a stone wall instead of the manufactured look of cement blocks. This adds a more organic feel to a wall, here, that does not hold back earth and continues the warmth of the wood-paneled wall interior.

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The image here shows the direct take on the Eames House design, with a slight change to the corner post as a cylindrical support.

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Coming around to the side we notice the use of primary colors. However, instead of the smaller, colored inserts, I have used large panels, relatively speaking, and the color red is represented by a tinted window. Red tinted glass also has a dramatic effect on the interior, flooding areas with color during the day and creating geometric displays on interior walls and objects. This is a major design feature of this tiny house and one I have not seen before in tiny house construction.

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The glass to the right is tinted blue and yellow and the white panels seen on the Eames House are included.

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The house at night showing the red, blue and yellow tinted windows.

Interior view immediately inside the portico.
Interior view immediately inside the portico.

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Looking from the direction of the modular kitchen. The sofa is a Grand Confort sofa by Le Corbusier. The blue chair is an Eames chair, of course.

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Looking from the sofa. (Notice the Wassily Chair to the left out on the portico.)

Viewing the hall.
Viewing the hall.

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Seeing the vaulted ceiling. Notice that the internal walls are partitions and do not meet the ceiling.

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Another view looking up. The wood structure to the left is a storage cabinet that also satisfies as a partition. The bedroom is behind this cabinet. The wall further down is not aligned to the cabinet and hides the bathroom area.

Peeking between the two cabinets.
Peeking between the two cabinets.
Inside the bedroom with its’ Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Inside the bedroom with its’ Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
View from the bed’s headboard.
View from the bed’s headboard.
The attendant bathroom area with a shower cabinet next to the yellow tinted window.
The attendant bathroom area with a shower cabinet next to the yellow tinted window.

This tiny house design invokes all sorts of design ideas and spurs some creative juices. Perhaps more designs will come after the larger, more elaborate version is done.



HBosler

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Self-Portrait in Yellow Chair