Maze Design

Part of a Resort Garden, we were asked to design a low hedge in the form of a maze, making it embody the spirit of the outdoors and embracing a family fun atmosphere.  With that, SimpleTwig Architecture proposed the following where animals, a bear, raccoon, seal, beaver and gofer all interact in a whimsical composition.

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The Functional Human, in Home Design

Homes are functional machines, although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note.  Lets, for a moment, discuss the functional aspects of what humans have to deal with when functioning in a home solely from their point of view, and assume there is a fitting design to solve their daily and weekly tasks in order to save humans the maximum amount of time, thus providing extended opportunities to enjoy life.  This is a ‘house as machine’ examination!

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Existing Urban Block and its Inherent Shortcomings

Using New York City as an example, we can examine the typical urban residential block.  Part of a long and narrow grid it provides the basics for laying out residential and commercial districts and buildings. The American grid, with its ascending street numbers or letters, is an organizing approach meant to equalize, to account for expansion and to make navigation easy and efficient.

First we’ll look at a very early Sandborn Map surveyed as housing and other structures were filling in the blocks, analysis this in terms of road to lot ratio, housing disposition and it’s inherent pros/cons, and then explore a few property surveys to see some variations to the individual residential type in NYC.

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Natural Flow Snow Melting System, Zero Energy Consumption

We’re at that point in the year where the sun is starting to make its presence known by giving us extended day light hours.  But the effects of the cold acts like winter is an entity cuddled in a slingshot in that the cold of winter is about to hit us, along with snow and ice that makes a daily walk a risk taking adventure. Is there a way of guaranteeing that our walkways will be free of snow and ice year around?  I believe there is.

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Carroll Gardens Brooklyn Garden Transformation

With spring around the corner, lets take a quick look at one of our SimpleTwig garden projects during the renovation of a Carroll Gardens Brooklyn townhouse.

When purchased the garden was overgrown with fallen fencing, and whatever thrown wherever.  Our first steps were basic cleanup.  The ivy was trimmed back and the trash, fencing and anything not savable removed.  We kept the existing gravel cleaning it up so we could use it as a base for a new slab and tile.

This garden is just 30×40 feet square with buildings on 3 sides.  Because of this we decided to make more of the planting area by raising it, and at the same time provide additional seating for informal gatherings.

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