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100K House Facade Ideas

by Chad Ludeman on January 22, 2008 · 4 comments

in Design,facade,inspiration

Well we’ve been getting a lot of feedback on the new facade debuted last week. I have also been running it by anyone who will listen to me and provide input as well in my offline life. I also have a meeting with the local neighborhood committee – The East Kensington Neighbors Association – to solicit feedback on the design prior to knocking on doors of the neighbors to introduce the project and seek further feedback before the design is finalized.

As stated before the new facade is the combination of a few factors that all happened within a 24 hour period and the team has not officially discussed the outcome yet.

  1. I insisted on less window area on the north facade in my sometimes obsessive mission for an affordable, uber-efficient home.
  2. I suggested a row of low windows to let in the coolest air possible in the summer for passive cooling with a higher than normal row of small windows at the top of the facade to let in light and allow for an unusually large vertical wall to hang artwork or other large things that one might be inclined to position on their walls.
  3. We decided just after the meeting to nix the bi-level roof in favor of a sloped roof for budget reasons which added another 1.5 feet to the front facade elevation.
  4. We introduced an entirely new material in the standing seam metal for both roof and facade.

While I don’t necessarily dislike what we have come up with I do agree with everyone’s comments so far and feel there is room for improvement. Below I have assembled a few images of some example directions that we could possibly go in. I have also been contemplating coming up with a few new facade options and letting the readers vote and decide on the final option that we will go with (new blogging and development ideas are popping into my head that I will suppress for now).

Staffan Stindberg’s Summerhouse via materialicious
Summerhouse - Strindberg
rear view of Summerhouse
side view of Summerhouse

I like two things about this house. One, the contrast between the colorful walls and the grey standing seam metal roof. I could see a red, corrugated metal used in substitution for the wooden cladding use in this home. Two, I like the sparse placement of unique and small windows on most of the walls with a few large glass exposures facing the sun.

Some cool examples from Interface Studio’s site

Slim horizontal window placement examples:
ISA - Arts Pavilion
ISA - Kensington Mixed Use
ISA - Northern Liberties Mixed-Use
ISA - Accessible Housing
Slim vertical window placement examples:
ISA Sheridan rendering
Sheridan window diagram
ISA - Arts Center Housing

I very much like the ISA examples of slim windows. Possibly by moving each of the high and low window bands closer to each other and adding a horizontal window somewhere, we would have a more inviting facade. Keep the comments coming. I will post more ideas on the issue shortly.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shawn January 23, 2008 at 3:08 am

Hey Chad,

Some good examples here. It’s good to hear your openness to other ideas and suggestions. As a designer, I’m well-aware of the risk of “design by committee,” but it seems like you’re doing a good job of balancing the input of others with your needs.

On thing I find to be a key success of “alternative” materials like metal roofing and siding is the use of contrast. While Stefan Stindberg’s house (above) uses contrast of color, I think the other examples that contrast both color AND materials are more effective.

Some building get away with a more monolithic use of material when placed in context with other buildings. Your sixth example from the top, for instance, features a big metal grey building. However, by sandwiching it between other buildings of differing size/scale/materials, the project is mostly successful.

I also want to reiterate the merits of roof eaves. In addition to being a strong design elements, eaves serve an important function in relation to cooling the house in the summer.

If your looking for more modern inspiration, you might take a look at a blog I recently stumbled across. It highlights a sort of Pacific Northwest style that’s a bit different that your sources…but still, you may find the imagery inspirational. You can access the site through a blog post on my site:


2 mj November 15, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Wasn’t sure where else to post this question… what do you have planned for the back yard?

3 Iqbal February 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Its an interseting way of building a house. but is architecture so irrational?? Can we just put up anything that we like? Does architecture has no meaning?? I would like if you answer me back on my email add. i would like a ‘no’ to my comment. please feel free to give me a website address for my answer.

4 chad February 25, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I’m not sure what you are talking about Iqbal. Another modern architecture hater I assume…

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