Archive for the 'Home Styles' Category

Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Also known as Mediterranean revival, this style shows strong Latin influences and fosters a connection to nature. This style dates back to the tail end of the Spanish Conquistadors.

Spanish Colonial house style Alvarado Phoenix

Key Features

  • Rectangular, courtyard, or L-plan.
  • Horizontal massing.
  • Asymmetrical shape with cross-gables and side wings.
  • One story. The Spanish Colonial is the ancestor of ranch-style house.
  • Flat roof, or roof with a low pitch
  • Earth, thatch, or clay tile roof covering
  • Thick walls made with rocks, coquina, or adobe brick coated with stucco. Thick walls are ideally situated for a hot environment — absorb the day’s heat and gently radiate it back into the building during the cool evenings.
  • Several exterior doors
  • Small windows, originally without glass. Smaller windows, originally sealed by wrought iron or wooden grates rather than glass panes, are sited on the building to best capture breezes while avoiding the direct rays of the sun.
  • Wooden shutters, when present, are traditionally mounted on the inside of the home.
  • Second story with recessed porches and balconies
  • Limited ornamentation. Ornamentation on these informal homes was often limited to arches on entrance ways, principal windows and interior passageways.
  • Interior courtyards. Historically, the courtyard let families move the cooking — and its accompanying heat and steam — outside. Today, these patios, porches and courtyards act as informal gathering spots for family, extended family and friends.
  • Carved wooden brackets and ballustrudes. Wooden support beams. Wooden roof supports.

Spanish colonial house style

Sources:,, Wikipedia

Patio Home Style

Friday, July 1st, 2011

patio home is an American term for a type of housing, also called a cluster home. The term tends to imply a suburban setting and a unit of several houses attached to each other, typically with shared walls between units, and with exterior maintenance and landscaping provided through an association fee. Not all of these elements are present in all buildings called patio homes, as the term is used somewhat generically by the real estate industry.

The building may actually be a condo when the building’s owner does not own the land, or it may be sold in fee simple. Targeted buyers are primarily those who do not want to be bothered by external maintenance typically associated with home ownership, sometimes because they only live in the patio home for part of the year.

There is not usually a legal definition of a patio home, and some houses called patio homes may alternatively be marketed as townhouses, garden homes, twin homes, or carriage homes. Most taxing jurisdictions do not have a separate classification for patio homes.

The term was first seen in print in the mid-1970s. In a more generic sense it may refer to a home with a prominent patio, such as some traditional Mediterranean-style homes.

Patio Homes – Pros

  • A patio home is usually less expensive than a single family home
  • Not as crowded (dense) as townhomes or condominiums
  • No neighbors above or below
  • Often only one shared wall
  • A patio home affords an easy lifestyle – HOA often covers roof replacement, exterior maintenance, landscape maintenance, common area maintenance, and other expenses
  • Ideal for “lock and leave” vacation homes
  • No stairs and low maintenance make patio homes popular with seniors
  • Commonly includes amenities such as a community pool

Patio Homes – Cons

  • Noise from neighbors through the shared wall or walls
  • Homeowners’ association fees and politics, and CC&R restrictions
  • Less common than townhouses or condominiums, so the selection of patio homes may be small
  • No yard, just a patio overlooking a common area.

Source:, Wikipedia

Frank Gehry’s Architecture

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Frank Owen Gehry (born Ephraim Owen Goldberg, February 28, 1929) is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles.

His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions. Many museums, companies, and cities seek Gehry’s services as a badge of distinction, beyond the product he delivers.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

His best-known works include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Experience Music Project in Seattle, Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic and the MARTa Museum in Herford, Germany. However, it was his private residence in Santa Monica, California, which jump-started his career, lifting it from the status of “paper architecture,” a phenomenon that many famous architects have experienced in their formative decades through experimentation almost exclusively on paper before receiving their first major commission in later years. (more…)

Walking House

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

WALKING HOUSE is a modular dwelling system that enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with minimal impact on the environment. It collects energy from its surroundings using solar cells and small windmills. There is a system for collecting rain water and a system for solar heated hot water. A small greenhouse unit can be added to the basic living module, to provide a substantial part of the food needed by the Inhabitants. A composting toilet system allows sewage produced by the inhabitants to be disposed of. A small wood burning stove could be added to provide CO2 neutral heating. Walking house forms various sizes of communities or WALKING VILLAGES when more units are added together. Walking house is not dependant on existing infrastructure like roads, but moves on all sorts of terrain.

Each unit is equipped with the basic systems for maintaining everyday life for a maximum of four persons. But it could easily be scaled up for larger family structures. Furniture is an integrated part of the structure. The module can be constructed from numerous materials. It is based on a framework made of steel, aluminum or wood and can be covered with steel, aluminum, wood or even semi- permeable textiles. Windows are made of polycarbonate. Insulation could be anything from thin plates of Polyethylene to wool.

Walking house could easily be equipped with specialized modules for various forms of productions like greenhouses, small factories etc. A Walking house or a Walking village could supply means for the inhabitants to make a living in this way while moving through the Landscapes and cityscapes. As an example a Walking village could be specialized in foodproduction or special modules for fishfarming, greenhouses and so on could be part of the construction.

Technical specifications:
Basic module:
Height: 3.5 meters
Width: 3.5 meters
Length: 3.72 meters
Weight: 1200 kg
Max speed: 60 meters/hour
Component list:
Plating and framework wood and plywood
Legs made of steel and mechanical components
12 linear actuators
solar panels
micro windmills
polycarbonate plates
interior equipment

Read more here

2+ Weekend House

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Sky high prices of real estate in the contemporary world have stimulated the search for and development of alternative housing solutions. One such attempt is the ConHouse system of small-size housing container units, which takes the housing/office ISO container to the next evolutionary level.  As opposed to the other container projects, which mostly feed on the excess of available cargo containers, ConHouse pushes the development of containers manufactured especially for housing and office purposes.

Even though the past 20 years have significantly changed the face of architecture, the basic form of these containers has remained the same. The ConHouse system now upgrades them to enable a quality of living comparable to classical housing. This is achieved mainly through rationally designed ground plans, carefully selected materials, a well-lit interior and the customized outer appearance of individual units. By enabling its occupants to coshape their compound unit according to their particular needs, ConHouse takes after the inventive automobile industry, where car owners can choose the components they desire, and after the IKEA-developed winning recipe of interior design.

The 2+ is a two-level mini housing unit composed of two containers perpendicular to each other. It shows that a minimal number of containers combined in an innovative fashion offers fresh yet functional architectural solutions. The upper container provides a projecting roof above the entrance as well as serves to shelter the back terrace. The ceiling of the bottom container is also a terrace of the first floor.

The pink-dotted facade illustrates the wide range of possibilities for tailor-made exteriors, the choice of which is as simple as deciding about which mobile phone cover to put on. The system’s modular nature enables containers to be added to or subtracted from the compound as needed, so that the ConHouse can grow or contract depending on the actual spatial needs of the people using it. Lower prices of such live/work units make them competitive as compared to traditional housing and are intended to increase the number of home-owners, who can then use the extra cash to expand their living space or invest more into interior design.

See more pictures here