I woke up in my own house yesterday morning and experienced a big d’oh: now I remember why I became an architect. There is actually a point to designing a space that works for you. Living in other people’s houses over the past 18 months has left me feeling a bit out of sorts. Although I appreciate all styles, the one I most like to live in is quiet: spare, well-detailed, and functional. My apartment is very small, but its high ceiling and huge window with a view of the Boston skyline gives it a spacious feeling I often don’t get in homes twice its size. The kitchen is designed for cooking; the huge closets whisk away clutter; every light in the joint is on a dimmer; and my books are temptingly lined up waiting for a leisurely rainy Sunday.
I started a new project today — as if I don’t have enough to do. My friends Eric and Holly bought a 3,000 square foot condo in Downtown Crossing that basically needs gutting. I’d seen photos, but they failed to truly capture its potential: it’s on two floors with a double (really triple) height space on half the main floor. There is one gigantic arched window on the main floor and a number of small square clerestories high up. I’m not sure if it’s a drawback or a plus that the view is of the Macys’ loading dock. The floors are polished concrete and there’s a nifty wood and metal spiral staircase leading to the mezzanine. The finishes in the kitchen look pretty good for now; the bathrooms are adequate until the rest of the phasing is done.
I went over this morning to see the place in daylight and do some measuring, although Eric had valiantly measured once already. It’s hard enough to get everything right when you’re experienced in it; as a novice, I know Eric probably swore a lot trying to figure out how and what to locate. But he provided me with a way to make a base drawing that I’ll go back over. I’m meeting with them this evening for a real kickoff meeting, which will likely involve cocktails and big dreams: they’re considering a climbing wall, lockers for anti-zombie paraphernalia, and other practical spaces.