design

shadow plans

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These are shadow plans of buildings currently in design, construction or already built by M. Gerwing Architects and ACI design:build.  The shadow plan is an interesting tool for architects.

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We used to make these by hand by drawing the roof plan and projecting the shadows for a selected day and time.  These images are made from 3D computer models, geo-located, and a day and time selected to best cast shadows that describe the architectural forms.

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Seeing a project from above like this is not expressing a desire to see what the project would look like as you jet out of town, but rather the disposition of forms defined by their shadows give us another perspective on the relationships between forms.

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I usually find that the similarities of these shadow plans are more indicative of an architect's style than looking at exterior or interior images might reveal

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programmatic determinism

a few brief thoughts on the relationships between rooms and the role of functionalism in designing a house

Great Gear Dilema

Boulder is known as an outdoor enthusiast's kind of town.  Almost everyone I know has a plethora of outdoor gear - multiple bikes, skis, helmets of every configuration, packs and bags, tents, stoves, and the occasional kayak and canoe.  Largely this equipment has usurped the car from its usual haunt in the garage.  It is a rare Boulderite who can actually fit their car in their garage because of the ever-expanding collection of bikes if nothing else.

Designing for aging in place

AGING IN PLACE - DESIGN FOR THE LONG VIEW

Recently we have found ourselves working on projects that are explicitly designed for aging in place.  These are houses with  single-floor plans, adaptable kitchens, and a load of other simple, functional solutions to allow folks to stay in their houses as long as possible.  We have gotten the local code enforcement officials to approve curbless roll-in showers and other code modifications that are becoming increasingly requested and required for aging homeowners.

Heating and cooling for your house

THE TYPES AND COSTS OF HEATING YOUR HOUSE

The available array of options for heating and cooling your house is significantly larger than it was just a few years ago.  Heightened awareness of energy efficiency and new, related techologies, have given us options that not only provide a much greater degree of thermal comfort, but do so at less cost and most importantly provide the homeowner with monitoring tools to increase awareness of how these systems can be optimized.

First Steps

First Steps

Some thoughts on the necessary first steps in starting a renovation and/or addition to your house