Filed under: Residential Projects
This design attempts to reinvent the split level by eliminating the ugly mezzanine entrance and half stair going up and down that is commonly associated with split-level housing. My house is set on a hillside and allows for full height windows on the basement level for optimal light. You walk up a path to the entry located on the side of the house that flows into the kitchen and up to the elevated living room. The staircase connecting the lower level is set in the center of the house above a large skylight illuminating the stairs and the media room below it. The benefit of this design is that all the living spaces are open to each other and viewable from the kitchen/dining area. The south facing kitchen/dining/living rooms open onto a two- tiered patio with a fountain on the lower patio and a gazebo on the upper patio. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths with a single car garage. The house also incorporates a green roof over the garage which serves as a deck for the master bedroom.
The general concept for this design originated from a study of the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan which is built around an upper tea house set on a hill and a lower tea house set on a lake. The imperial villa is set on 130 acres and was designed as a retreat for the Emperor Gomizuno (1596-1680). I simplified the villa concept down to an upper and lower patio and then had my house mimic the levels of the patios generating the floor plan.
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