Wednesday, September 7, 2016

NHND to the Pond - Hiding the Garage

Garage is set back behind the house to make it less prominent
 The New House Next Door to the Pond has a floor plan layout that minimizes the visual impact of the garage. The garage is large (36'x28') to enclose 2 parked vehicles in addition to a myriad of outdoor recreational equipment. It is a separate building tucked behind the house, on the north side, so as not to block sunlight from the house or unfavorably shade the yard.
Partial Plan above shows Garage tucked behind house with an exterior roofed connection corridor to Mud Room
Scaled for vehicles, garages can distract from the design of a house
 The garage structure also has a full width porch 12' deep along it's west side. This exterior covered space can be used for wood storage, bike tune-ups, as a staging area when packing or unpacking from a trip, and it may even house a hot tub. On a steeply sloped site, it provides a level patio-type area that could even become an outdoor living space off the back yard.

Long Garage Roof covers porch on it's west end. See the back of the house beyond
The garage is connected to the house with a narrow roof over a stone path leading to a small back deck and the mudroom entry door. This will likely provide the everyday entry for the family living here- whether they commute to school or work via bike or car.

Semi-Detached Garage on right with connecting roof leading to Mud Room in house

As an architect, I think this is a good compromise to the alternative of an attached garage or a garage in the basement of a house- both of which have their own architectural challenges. This layout of a semi-detached garage affords the house it's own anonymity and allows a more human-scale massing and detailing. (a house is built for people, a garage is built for cars - much different scale! Click HERE to see a post on why the attached garage is referred to as the "uninvited guest that never left".)

On a physical level, the connecting roof provides protection from the elements as one transitions to and from home - and on a psychological level "transition zones" such as porches, mudrooms, entry halls, etc. give one time and space to shift from in to out. See my website for more about my theory of transition zones here: CWB-architect

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