Everybody loves a hand sketch, right?
Among the piles of trace paper, scratch paper sketches, scribbles and informal sketch studies on the Satterlee house, I scanned a few to post here and share a bit of my process. Some are hybrid computer massing studies with sketching over.
With such a steep site, and entry from the low side of the property, there were rich design challenges in brainstorming an efficient, economical and elegant way to place the house on the hill and get people into it. We also had other important considerations such as solar orientation, building massing, quantities of excavation and providing ample space to enjoy the outdoors on a level surface. Add to that the setback requirements and a requirement for two parking spaces on site and we had ample constraints in place. But constraints make for good architecture, though they cause much consternation and head scratching at times. All in a day’s work. Truth be told, all these challenges made it even more fun. You can do almost anything with a flat site, but a steep slope requires more thought and lends itself to more dynamic solutions.
So without further ado, a few process sketches: