Thursday, May 21, 2009

Re-Thinking the Foundation

A solid home and a solid design start with a well thought out foundation. The basement can be so much more than just a dank dark extra space for storage if it is incorporated into the finished living space of the home from the very beginning of the conceptional process. It is important to bring natural light into all parts of the house and the basement is no exception. In this design I have opened two areas out side so that they let light and air down into the basement space. One is located next to the front door and draws you down an staircase mounted to the foundation wall and open on two sides. You walk down under the glass wall of the library which is overhanging a 10 ft deep pond. The light filters through the water of the pond and two glass walls on right angles. One is parallel to the stairs and the other is parallel to the sliding glass door of the basement.

After you enter the basement to your left it opens up to a small bar with a peninsula sitting area. Across from the bar is a small wine cellar and in between is an alcove for a dart board. The other area of the basement that receives natural light is the den. In this design the den is the farthest away from the entrances but it is flooded by a halo of natural light. The den is a sunken area behind a dividing wall. The ceiling is 11 ft 2 inches and separated from the wall on three sides so the sun streams through the windows of the floor above.

The other main opening to the basement is on the other side of the home sunken into the patio next to the pool. When both entrances are open cross ventilation brings fresh air into the naturally cool below ground space. Another open staircase brings you down into a large vault open to the sky above. Under the stairs up against the wall is a large multi person outdoor shower. At the bottom of the stairs to your right is a set of sliding glass doors. As you walk through the doors you enter the pool house space which is built out under the patio. There a sauna to you right and a full bath to your left. Directly in front of you is a 12 ft by 12 ft sunken hot tub which is built in underneath the shallow end of the swimming pool. This unique design provides a naturally cool space to escape the hot summer days.

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