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Project 2

Contextual Fit/Addition to an Existing Order

This project requires that the ordering system of the prior and prototypical model be received and understood so that the original design concept can be clarified, strengthened, and built upon through a series of finite changes and permutations without replicating an outdated building in such a manner that it can destroy the Smith House's character. This house was originally designed by architect Richard Meier in the mid-1960s, but its owners' needs have changed since the house was designed and constructed.

Project Statement

A family consisting of a retired painter, a retired doctor, and four college students who are currently enrolling in an architecture program at a nearby university have been living in the Richard Meier designed Smith House since the painter first bought it in the late 1960s. While the family has maintained the house in excellent condition over the past 50 years, they found that its size did not fit in with the historical character of the giant mansions that surround the house, given that the family size had grown a lot over that span of time. They then decided to think of ideas about how to expand the house without greatly altering its historical character or destroying it entirely. While researching all of the possible options, the painter decided that he would like to design an addition to the house and renovate it so that it would resemble a robotic arm that would have at least two joint points. The needs for the addition state that the master bedroom and the exercise room shall be placed in one of the joints, albeit on different floors, with the master bedroom offering a view of the ocean. In addition, the retired painter wants the family room and the outdoor garden to be rather large so that he could host some family gatherings.

Ranking of Most Important Rooms:

1. Master suite

2. Family room

3. Exercise room

Segregation of rooms (slashes denote boundaries):


Master suite/Outdoor garden

Study room/Exercise room

Kitchen/Family room

Dining room/Game room


Study room/Master suite

Family room/Game room

Dining room/Kitchen

Outdoor garden/Exercise room


Study room/Family room

Office/Exercise room

Master suite/Outdoor garden

Kitchen/Exercise room

The diagrams that show the required concepts of the house that was in existing condition are also listed.

Preliminary Designs

The preliminary designs of the house showed that there were three shapes that were involved: two rectangular prisms and one cylinder. All three of those shapes are attached together in a configuration where they are supported by the columns that were extruded from the house's original structural systems. This gallery documents the process of the house's preliminary design from its conception to its approval.

Based on the preliminary designs, portions of the two rectangles surrounding the circle were subtracted to create the final preliminary design, which consist of two scalene trapezoids being attached to the circle, making it look more like a robotic arm. 

Final Design

The final design of the project consists of the floorplans that were made to accommodate the extension, as well as the renderings of the house together with the extension. The systems of roof parapets and girders, along with the circulation measure, were taken into account on the floorplans and diagrams. There were no columns present in the middle of any of the rooms, and the circulation path goes along the wall that is furthest away from the function on each of the three floors.

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