Massing Studies

I had a very difficult time getting started on this project, so as a kick start, I took some cues from some presentation materials I saw on my favorite design-build blog (BUILD LLC) and cranked out some Massing Studies.  As I mentioned earlier, massing is architectural parlance for form or shape, referring to the exterior.

A massing study helps to organize your thinking by breaking the program down into basic building blocks (pretty close to playing with legos).  For this I thought of public space (dining, living, kitchen, etc. in red), private space (bedrooms, closets, bathrooms , in blue) and garage (duh, in white).  I showed the trees here so we would see what kind of impact the various arrangements would have.

Massing Concept 1 is a fairly suburban (and very efficient) approach with the garage prominently at the main level, all public spaces at the same entry level, and all the bedrooms above

Characteristics:

  • Main level garage at east side
  • Two story building at west side
  • Common 1st story
  • Private 2nd story

Advantages:

  • Cost Effective

Disadvantages:

  • Limited visual interest
  • Does not utilize slope

Massing Concept 2 has a distinguished two story public space with the private spaces tucked behind and on top of the garage including a garage roof top deck.Characteristics:

  • Main level garage at east side
  • Private spaces behind and above garage.
  • Two story common space at west side

Advantages:

  • Garage roof provides balcony
  • Garage blocks neighbor’s drive
  • 2 story common space accommodates loft
  • Visual interest with shape

Disadvantages:

  • Complicated foundation
  • Does not utilize slope
  • More expensive

Massing Concept 3 has very bold and clear geometry, with a 1 1/2 story public area opening out onto the roof top deck of the basement level garage and opportunity for dramatic landscaping to rise to the front door.Characteristics:

  • Basement level garage
  • Common space above garage
  • Private space side by side to common
  • Travel axis divides common and private

Advantages:

  • Dramatic visual interest utilizing slope
  • Clear visual hierarchy
  • Garage roof provides balcony
  • Provides vistas from entire frontage
  • Full basement

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive
  • Stairs required to come and go

Massing Concept 4 breaks the three blocks apart and arranges them around a semiprivate courtyard.Characteristics:

  • Distinct Garage, Common, and Private blocks.
  • Courtyard formed between 3 blocks
  • Split level Garage at front toward west

Advantages:

  • Dramatic visual interest utilizing slope
  • Clear visual hierarchy
  • Courtyard

Disadvantages:

  • Limited basement
  • More expensive

At this point Melissa zeroes in on massing concept 2 for all the main level access and convenience, and I zero in on massing concept 3 for the way it responds to the slope of the site.

We decide to develop both plans and then see if they can eventually dovetail.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Massing Studies

  1. Where is the lot? Please call me to let me know more of the details….I would love to watch the building start and finish..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s