Monday, April 27, 2009


Plans for the next 6 months...

I updated the renderings for the front landscaping since I know have two of the projects completed (front doors and paver walkway). Please forgive my amateur Sketchup skills. I'm just trying to get an idea of what it will look like when it's complete.

a couple of comments/constructive criticism:

i'm not sure about extending the roof like that, where it turns into a trellis or pergola. i would suggest working off the horizontal beam (between the top of the doors and bottom of clerestory windows) and reducing the trellis pieces to 2x2 members. this will keep the view out the clerestory windows open to the sky and maintain the original roof line and beam ends, which i think is a distinctive element of the cliff may design. it would also create a horizontal plane that could work well with the vertical site wall planes.

my second comment is regarding the site walls. if you're building new walls i would suggest 'grabbing' as much of the yard as you can per local zoning requirements. you can get a lot of usable space and create more of that 'garden from every room' concept this way. you also might want to consider an entry gate to create that buffer space between your front door and the street.

just a couple of thoughts - what you've done looks great so far!
I'm still not certain on the specifics of the roof extension. Right now I'm staking and I may do some large stakes to get a feeling for scale in the real world. The inspiration for the current design comes from a number of May homes which feature and extension of the roof line with open joists. This was normally done to cover a pool, large outdoor patio, or entryway. However, my design does differ in that it is asymmetric with respect to the ridge beam and only appears on one side. I tried mocking up various designs in SketchUp that were on both sides of the ridge beam but my window placement just can't pull it off.

It's funny you mention a trellis off the horizontal barge beam. I saw something similar on a P&K home in La Jolla and wanted to try it. I did several visualizations and didn't like how closed it it made the entry feel. The horizontal beam is only 7ft off the interior floor level. The other problem was it always looked added on.

I think I'm going to complete the other things and play around with some full-scale mockups to get a feel for different design ideas.

On the site walls. I get that suggestion all the time -- from people who have never visited my neighborhood. Our local zoning requires 20ft setbacks for front walls over 3ft. The original neighborhood CC&Rs specify the same. One of the things I have always liked about my neighborhood is that the houses have a leisurely, uncrowded look on the street. This is mainly due to the open space in front. In the Long Beach Cliff May neighborhood the lots are much smaller and, as such, the houses are inevitably closer to the street and few have sizable backwards. I'm fortunate enough to have a backyard with a pool, large untilized sideyard, and a courtyard off of the living room. I only have one window that looks onto the front yard.

With that said, I feel *some* buffer from the street might be nice. I'm contemplating, perhaps, a low wall provides more psychological separation than visual. It might also be interesting to do the low wall only on one side of the walkway.
please don't stephen. that just won't look right. if you must extend an overhang of some kind, consider a flat post and beam pergola like what was on Chris Choate's house featured in Living for young home makers.

if that won't do, extend both sides
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