Sunday, July 04, 2010

Architectural musings

OK, I'm not an architect and I never will be; it's a discipline that I totally respect and feel that practitioners of rarely get enough respect for.

That being said, I do muse on the what the architecture of our "someday" house will be. I love living in the castle in the middle of Merrill, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming of a green paradise.

Things that I'd love: I really like Buckminster Fuller dome houses. They look really cool. But they aren't the best for saving and using water, and I'd def like to be able to build permaculture landscaping around the house. I also like earth block houses, but I do wonder about the thermal properties in winter. Straw bale houses are awesome, but difficult to hang pictures in. Whatever we do, green & sustainable with good insulation is best.

As for the roof, I think it might be cool if there was a way to shade it with a light, white, perhaps retractable material in summer, but have it dark for warming purposes in winter. Something like kevlar or cuban fiber (in a non-transparent version) sail cloth, hanging well over the house, to provide shade in the summer (providing shade for big south-facing windows for passive heating in the winter too), and a black roof in the winter. Not sure about where to put the solar panels...

If only we lived in a more temperate climate, I've always wanted an open design home with a river running through it. Literally, I would want a river flowing through the living room of my ideal house. I know it'll never happen, but it would be cool.

The thing that I want more than anything is for my living room to resemble a James Bond villain's lair - Dr. No, jungle lair in Moonraker, and the Man with the Golden Gun's hideout being good examples. The beauty of these set designs (two of them Ken Adam classics) is the combination of natural features -- rock, driftwood, jungle, water etc -- with 1950's futuristic architecture and antique furniture (admittedly, some of this is interior design, not architecture, still). Love it.


1 comment :

Bobbie Kolehouse said...

Tasha, you might like to read the biography of Frank Lloyd Wright written by Meryle Secrest. It is a good read historically, but also offers insights into his genius.

And he was a genius.

Your mention of water inside the house reminded me of a house he designed Aline Barnsdall in Los Angeles, the Hollyhock House. (albeit, a temperate climate)It was intended to become a 38 acre artists colony, but the project was terminated before completed.

From the book, "...A stream, wandering through lush foliage, connects circular and square reflecting pools, adding to the impression of an oasis in a desert-like climate--"

"...the room contains a massive fireplace actually surrounded by a miniature moat, or pool, and crowned with a skylight placed so as to reflect the starry sky and the flickering flames of the fire..." p268

And then a quote from the book on the development of Wright's work during this time--post Prairie House.

[defining a building in terms of the space it encloses--as 'vessels of space']

"...Once Wright returned to Taliesin he removed Flower in the Crannied Wall (sculpture) from its place of honor, replacing it with an enormous Ming tub, perhaps the clearest evidence that a momentous shift had taken place in his thinking. Referring to the ability of artis like Thomas Bewick and Rembrandt to turn "human experiences directly into graphic symbols," [Kenneth] Clark wrote, "We are reminded of the burning glass, casting its ray brighter and deadlier as its focus grows sharper till suddenly a feather of smoke warns us that it has achieved, through intensity, a transformation of matter." p270

It is a fascinating book.