The Theory Behind a Home

by Feb 20, 2020Uncategorized0 comments

From our Certified Professional Building Designer, Tom Rogers:

There is a book I have that is over-old in my library, and it is a book that I still reference to today. If you have ever gone through any design studies, you surely would have run across the book, Architecture: Form, Space and Order, written by Francis D. K Ching. This book, as the title indicates, explains the dynamics and theory of architecture and how to use form, space and order in developing buildings.

Now I’m sure that there are some of you that may ask, “Why do I care all about this theory? All I want is a house that has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.” But there is a slight difference in that answer that determines what the end product will be.

“…All I want is a house…” A house, according to one dictionary definition is “a building for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.” But what if you wanted a home?

A home is defined as “a place where something flourishes.” A house is a place, or an entity, where as a home is a feeling, relationship, or sense of being. You can find house plans all over the internet and social media; these may be a good place to start from, but to make that house a home, a professional designer must assist you in the creation.

The pieces that incorporate a home’s interior are more than just rooms. And thus, a home is put together with spaces (rooms) and a structure (how it is erected-walls, floors, ceilings, beams and an enclosure or an exterior material such as a roof). All of this is to understand, and relate to, the movement between spaces and the relationship between them all.

So, in the end, the home has a cohesive grouping of technology, fulfilling the program and complementing the entire context of the construction. We will look further into many of these concepts and definitions in future writings.

spacing in a home

Figure 1-Copalita School (courtesy of The Architectural Review)

The Importance of Space in Your Home

Today we talk a little bit about space. A space can be area that has a defined border (four walls creating a room) or it can be borderless (exterior views or vistas as pictured above). Most times a space is something that we can see but it is just as much as the area that we don’t see, or the void of a form.

It is the interpretation of these two, the positive and the negative of the area that creates the space. Space is defined by creating the feeling for its purpose. For example, you would not want a bedroom that has a two-story ceiling in it or a family room that is long and skinny. Both of these rooms are out of proportion based on their intended use. A bedroom needs to be a place that envelopes the occupant and cradles them in a relaxing comfort to be able to sleep. A family room needs proper dimensions to accommodate the activities associated with that room and the be gathering place for the amount of people gathered there.

A space is also depicted by how it relates to the spaces around it. You would not want to enter from your garage and go right into a bedroom; nor is the powder room located right next to the dining. Situating rooms so that you can enter from the garage and unload groceries in a pantry or kitchen without walking all the way across the house is just as important as having bathrooms near the bedrooms so that you don’t have to wander around the house every morning when you wake up to shower.

The form of the space is more than just walls enclosing square footage. It is the “sense” of space.  It is how it makes you feel. It should be a destination and created for the purpose of its intended use. A formal area, such as a dining room, will have a more defined shape. A kitchen’s shape is going to be governed by the tasks that are being done there. The size of a garage space will be based on the items that it needs to fit (cars, storage of yard equipment, recreational or kids’ toys).

A well-defined space will enhance the area and the occupant. It will, and should, leave them with a sense of comfort and understanding that purpose is defined not by a set of criteria for size but by the feeling of the space. Let it be relaxing, entertaining or engaging.

Ask us how we can help you create your space in your new home. Contact Us to get started!

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