Friday, October 2, 2009

Working With An Architect

There haven't been any posts over the summer as we have waited endlessly for a building permit. Sometimes these dull periods appear. You want to do something, but there is not much that you can do effectively. We did meet with several cabinet makers and some flooring professionals, but after a while we simply went into hibernation, waiting for this project to get started again. We are still probably two weeks away from breaking ground, but I want to go back to February when we started to work with our architect.

No matter how detailed your instructions are, there will be some disconnects between what you said and what your architect heard. You might have even changed you mind about the things that are really important. This is the first drawing that Bob Sherman gave to us. Looking at it again, it is remarkably close to what we ended up with, but there are significant areas of change.

The first thing we changed completely was the idea of a two story house. Since this house is on a steep hillside we were pretty sure we would need two stories to get all the rooms we wanted. Since we want this house to be the last house we ever live in, an elevator seemed to be necessary with more than one floor so that we could move from floor to floor even with a walker or a wheelchair. But when we looked at the first design, the two bedrooms on the bottom floor seemed to be more space than we would need. If we eliminated the staircase and the elevator we could use that space to add the one bedroom/cat room/gym that we needed.

The other major change that we wanted was to emphasis the view of the Strip, especially at night. Bob gave us a tremendous covered porch, but we both felt that the columns would get in the way of the view. We were looking for more of a circular wall focused on the view. The bar was too big and so was the formal dining area that we mostly use in our current house as a large desk rather than an eating area. Even when we have guests, we usually use the kitchen area to eat.

But the overall design was terrific. It splits the "public areas" from the "private areas". It gave us two studios, a library and a home theater. It also gave us a private entrance with a huge gallery/hall for art work. Yes, the design needs to be revised, but not as much as we thought it might have to be. Next? What the final design looks like and the compromises we made to get there.

1 comment:

RuthB said...

Wow. It's official. I'm moving in.