What's the Big Idea? In Architecture, It's the Parti Pris

The term”parti pris,” generally abbreviated to”parti,” literally translates as”passing point,” however in architect lingo it often refers to the project layout’s big idea. It signifies an architect’s entire guiding idea for a design. As such, a parti generally has less to do with technical, fiscal and technical issues and much more to do with perspective, massing, scale, transparency, opaqueness and other architectural problems. While not every design starts with a parti pris, it’s typically better as it does. The overall guiding idea, or passing point, can strengthen the last result, as the design won’t become confused.

An architect will generally tell you up front what the parti is to get the design. If not, be certain to ask. It is one way of earning certain that you and your architect are on the same page as you work together to create the house of your dreams.

By the way, the term, which is French, probably originated in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the 19th-century French architecture college.

Yamamar layout

The parti pris, or large concept, could be on the home becoming translucent and framing viewpoints. A horizontally composed linear band draws the eye in this one, even though a vertical totem arrests which motion. The architectural idea is to control sight lines and highlight the stunning view.

Scott Allen Architecture

Scott Allen Architecture

Perhaps the large idea is to get the home”disappear” in the entry side (this photo), seemingly hiding at a park-like setting so that it can be a party of light and transparency in the water’s-edge side (previous photograph ).

Kristina Wolf Design

Perhaps the large idea is to reestablish an old firehouse, breathing new life and another use into the structure. A desire to retain remnants of this original use would surely qualify as a passing point for the overall design.

Elliott + Elliott Architecture

Perhaps the large idea is to create a set of little houses, each with its own function yet grouped together to make a family room. Such a parti yields a very different house than just one where each of the functions are gathered under one roof.

Torsten Ottesjö

Perhaps the large idea is to be little and anything but standard.

Demerly Architects

Perhaps the large idea is to respect a component of the context whilst trying to accomplish something entirely modern. While the form this is of a classic gabled roof home as a child would draw it, the overall effect is just one of modernity.

Perhaps the significant idea is in how the floor plan is composed. An L-shaped plan which creates different public and private legs that open to exactly the same terrace provides the passing point for your own design.

Tell us What big idea would you love to utilize for your house?

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3 Surprising Essential Tools for the Modern Architect

What do you believe architects do all day? Many people envision someone sitting before a drafting table, with pen, eraser and straightedge, drawing into the wee hours of night. Unlike this stereotype, most firms have substituted old-school drafting tables with state-of-the-art computers and applications that in many ways can outperform the old pen and paper on any particular day. But technology alone is not enough.

Dylan Chappell Architects

Now’s dwellings conserve energy, provide more functions in less space, promote a healthy lifestyle and are integrated with technologies, and also the ways architects are designing and constructing homes are changing too.

Educating yourself on various tools architects use and why can allow you to receive the ideal design fast and within your budget.

GO LOGIC

But before we get into computer applications, 3-D fly-through versions and photorealistic renderings, there are a couple basic qualities an architect should have, because even the most advanced gadget or software can’t compensate for their absence. Certain time-tested skills may make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful architect.

Listening. Good listening skills might be the most important instrument in an architect’s arsenal. When I graduated from design school, I had fantasies of being a wonderful designer, showing and teaching people what great design looked like.

Well, those ancient (and naïve) ideas shortly fell by the wayside when I heard that being a fantastic architect isn’t about persuading people that my thoughts are great, but having the ability to listen to, understand and translate their thoughts into the ideal space for them.

Dylan Chappell Architects

Drawing. In spite of all of the modern technologies, no architect ought to be without a sketchbook or notepad. Being an architect is a lifelong dedication to studying, researching, discovering and experiencing buildings and spaces. You never know when you might come across fixture the perfect detail or merchandise. By always having a sketchbook on architects ensure that they will remember everything.

Although a professional’s sketchbook might have some remarkable drawings inside, it needs to be used mostly to keep tabs on clients’ thoughts and needs, somewhere to record goods, details, comments, to-dos, problems to resolve and imaginative answers. Taking detailed notes and listening well are the foundation of any project.

Z Gallerie

Experience. A seasoned architect is a key ingredient for a successful project, but experience comes only with time and dedication. I am not saying to trust just architects with grey hair, but ensure your architect has completed projects similar to yours. If you reside in an area which has long and complicated design inspection and permitting processes, make sure that he or she knows the ropes and isn’t spending your money and time on schooling.

A seasoned architect not just should know and understand local jurisdictions, vernacular styles and design guidelines, but also needs to be well traveled. Fantastic spaces aren’t only buildings but something you truly encounter. There is not any better way to understand distances or people better than by traveling and visiting the world. Fantastic design transcends style, and there is no substitute for the real item, therefore the more places your architect continues to be may influence favorably on your own design.

Poggenpohl

All the technologies in the world won’t be able to assist an architect come up with a excellent design without the three must-have attributes above.

However, a treasure trove of applications, products and technology is available to help the modern architect create additional ideas, better communication methods and interrogate presentations. Employing an architect who has strong fundamentals complemented with modern tools means you’ll be presented with better designs, have more options to select from, know what you’re getting before paying to have it constructed, and in the long run, receive the very best design for your lifestyle.

Next: Stay tuned for the next thing in an architect’s toolbox: Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.

More: Who Needs 3-D Design? 5 Reasons You Do | Locate an architect near you

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American Architecture: Cape Cod Style's Components

What it is: This hot cabin style traces its origins to colonial New England and is characterized by its low, wide profile, normally a story and a half tall, with a steeply pitched roof with end gables.

The earliest forms had little exterior ornamentation and so were adaptions of the English hall and parlor home to match the stormy weather of the New England shore. The style saw a resurgence during the colonial revival period during the first half of the 20th century, together with the addition of a couple of Georgian-inspired embellishments.

Popularity of the easy, cabin look has waxed and waned through time. During times of economic wealth it’s been seen as a “poor man’s style,” but it has undergone resurgences during times of economic recession, due to its practicality.

Where to find it: The earliest examples are primarily along the New England coast (especially Cape Cod, for which the style is termed). Revival examples are around the Eastern seaboard, nevertheless, and can even be located in the Midwest and on the West Coast.

Why you’ll enjoy it: This really is the quintessential American cabin style. The floor plans are generally cozy and efficient, and also the simple, symmetrical exteriors are ripe for curb appeal embellishments such as shutters, window boxes and pedestrian paths. Nothing says “home sweet home” very like Cape Cod cottages.

Joseph B Lanza Layout + Construction

Why Is It Cape Cod

Element: Cedar shake shingles to the roof and siding.
These unpainted shingles turn from a warm tan to a gray color over time. Clapboard siding is also common on Cape Cod cottages.

The best way to make it your own: Cedar shake shingles require significantly less upkeep than painted siding, which makes them an ideal option in harsh climates, such as that of the New England shore.

Savoie Nolan Architects

Element: A steeply pitched roof with side gables. This is only one of the most consistent characteristics of the style.

The best way to make it your own: Originally designed to prevent the buildup of ice and snow, those steeply pitched roofs are extremely practical in cold climates, regardless of the style of residence.

Daggett Builders, Inc..

Element: Double dormers. They punctuate the steep rooflines of many Cape Cod homes. The most common sort of dormer used is a gabled one, which features a simple pitched roof with two sloping sides.

The best way to make it your: Along with boosting curb appeal, dormers make additional floor space in the area tucked under the roofs, helping convert once fresh attics into livable area.

Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Element: A symmetrical front facade. Traditionally Cape Cod homes have a symmetrical appearance and layout inside with a centre hall and equal space on either side. Colonial Cape Cods featured a central chimney linked to a fireplace in every room; 20th century versions like the one shown moved the chimney to a single end of the house.

The best way to make it your own: Pairs of planters and sconces on either side of entries can make the appearance of symmetry even when the basic layout is asymmetrical.

Element: Pilasters. They surround the front door and are the cosmetic highlight of easy Cape Cod cottages. This white-painted pilaster and lintel mix is the most common.

The best way to make it your own: Painting heavy trim surrounding entries white is one way to get a similar effect without phoning at a carpenter. Another simple approach to underline the entry is to paint the door itself a bright color.

Structures, Inc..

Element: Sidelights. Flanking front door they dress up the entry marginally more compared to pilaster-lintel combo. Sidelights can be found on either side of doors that were French or paneled.

The best way to make it your own: To the same effect without reconfiguring your entry area, try swapping out a good door for you with windows.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Element: Shutters and window boxes. The general simplicity of these structures makes them ripe for exterior enhancements like operable shutters and window boxes.

The best way to make it your own: Shutters and window boxes cheer up the facade of almost any home, regardless of its style. Both are simple improvements to suppress appeal.

Element: A broad front porch. Colonial versions of the style did not have front porches, due to climate and construction issues, but they are frequent in revival incarnations of their look.

The best way to make it your own: Porches are a fantastic way to assist smaller homes live larger by stretching the living space outdoors.

Savoie Nolan Architects

Element: Rear and side additions. When adding on to a Cape Cod house, architects and builders have a tendency to try and keep the small facade of the first structure and make more drastic changes or enlargements to the back or sides.

The best way to make it your own: Maintaining the integrity of initial architecture is a good practice, regardless of the style.

What do you think of Cape Cod houses? Are you ready to import the New England style to your hometown, or can it be better left for history books?

More:
A Coastal Cottage on Cape Cod

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Exterior Materials: Texture Talk

While my ideabooks have a tendency to check at the big picture, the overall form of a home or sometimes particular elements that go into a layout, every now and then I love to zoom in and focus on stuff. Here is another attribute with close-ups of substances, a number of them fairly typical but most of them anything but. Exterior applications are the focus of this ideabook, but a future one will take a step indoors.

Bauhaus Custom Homes

Astute and frequent readers probably know I am a big fan of rust. Cor-Ten steel are located in dishes but also corrugated bits, like on this residence in Dallas. I’ll acknowledge the look and texture isn’t right for everybody, but the juxtaposition using the cactus inside this picture — quite appropriate, actually — makes the rust quite attractive.

WA Design Architects

More rust. This undertaking by WA Design utilizes thin sheets of weathering steel punctuated by exposed fasteners. When using any metallic skin, it’s important to think about how it is secured — exposed, hidden, fitting, contrasting, gridded, irregular and so forth. The grid of screws here is clearly intentional.

Jobe Corral Architects

Steel can also take different endings, for example gray-blue look. The natural variation within the tiny panels is a wonderful touch, as would be the flat wood dividers.

MICHAEL HENNESSEY ARCHITECTURE

Here is a functional construction in Sonoma, California, that is coated in vertical metal siding. A mesh grid situated a few feet before the metallic surface is an armature for climbing plants, softening the whole building.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Gray cement board panels cover part of this house in New York’s Catskill Mountains designed by Resolution: 4 Architecture. The grid of fasteners breaks down the scale of these panels. The gray-blue finish is a wonderful contrast with the wood.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Another Res: 4 project uses cedar siding, a more typical direction of cladding a home than cement panels. Regardless, the variant found in this small area at the bottom corner of a window is striking; This really is the type of natural variant that fiber cement can not reach.

Bauhaus Custom Homes

We can see a similar type of variation in the wood siding, exactly the same project as the corrugated rust that starts the ideabook. In a sense the two substances complement each other: They are both flat and possess their own kind of natural variant.

Delta Lumber & Millworks

The wood edition of weathering steel (that the oxidization of steel to provide a protective barrier) is that the Japanese tradition of shou-sugi-ban. Burning cedar or another wood gives it a charcoal barrier that is rot and fire resistant … and very distinctive looking.

Mell Lawrence Architects

Last is the superb scaly outside of this aptly called Concrete Studio by architect Mell Lawrence. The cast-concrete building is similar to a monolithic mass that is broken down in scale throughout the texture; the shadows accentuate it. The holes left by the formwork also give the walls a distinctive look.

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Building Materials Ready for Their Close-Ups

Exterior Materials Mix It Up

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