Since the two of us liked different massing concepts, we developed both to see if they could merge at some point down the pipeline. We started referring to these as mine and yours, but for the sake of clarity here, we’ll say hers and his:
Both designs feature a masonry wall on both the inside and out that divides the common public spaces from the living spaces.
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Hers: Features a resale conscious main level garage (though still requiring a few steps). The garage access leads into a hall with a bench and coat locker, powder room, laundry and master suite. In the other direction the hall intersects with the wide entry hall at the staircase, and continues on into the open plan living area. The kitchen is bumped out from the dining room. The living room is double height. The dining room has a loft above. The second floor features the loft overlooking the living room and entry, a bathroom and two bedrooms off of a hallway that overlooks a roof top deck above the garage.
PROS: Essential living is all on the main floor. The kitchen is oriented such that is opens into the dining room but dirty dishes can be hidden behind the raised bar top.
CONS: In order maximize use of the sloping site, the garage needs to be dropped down several steps diminishing main level accessibility and intense re-grading still has to occur. The overall footprint is also pushing the limit on width considering the side yard trees we want to keep.
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His: Features a basement level garage that, by way of the stairs, leads to the main entry space and directly into the open plan living area. The living area is 1 ½ height volume that opens out to a roof top deck over the garage. A hall behind the kitchen leads to the powder, laundry and master suite. The second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom off of a hall that overlooks the double height entry space.
PROS: The lower level garage allows the overall footprint of the house to be narrower, providing ample space for existing trees. It also makes good use of the sloping site.
CONS: Coming or going from the house requires use of stairs. The common living area lacks boundaries between the separate functions, and the plan is already at the upper limits of programmed square footage without a loft space.
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So which do YOU like better and why? Leave a comment!