FAR, the floor area ratio, is determined by multiplying the area of a property by a number determined by the property’s zoning district. For instance a 20’x100′ property in a zoning district of R5 has a factor of 1.25 allowing for 2500 square feet of ‘habitable’ interior space.
The issue is what is considered habitable. FAR accounts for the gross built area including thicknesses of walls, suggesting that the very walls that help define the interior spaces are habitable. This results in something unfortunate, the attempt to make structural walls thinner resulting in larger interior spaces, which results in buildings that feel less sturdy by the increase in noise infiltration, vibration and other factors.
Continue reading “The problem with Zoning’s FAR”
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!
Continue reading “The Functional Human, in Home Design”
We (SimpleTwig Architecture.llc) will show you the character, layout and thinking behind several different rental apartments (this is the second of several articles)
Continue reading “Apartment Rental Layout: Case Study 2”
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.
Continue reading “Carroll Gardens Brooklyn Garden Transformation”
As an extension of the practical aspects of a functional laundry room for smaller homes as discussed in the previous article, here we extend those functional aspects to higher end and luxury homes to touch on what is possible, and, what should be.
Continue reading “High-end and Luxury Laundry Rooms”
It’s looming, consuming, it’s laundry day.
Homes are functional machines (not if you choose the wrong Architect), although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note. Yet when choosing an Architect you hope, or assume, they know what they’re doing. The truth is there might be passing consideration at best, for some of your home’s most important functional aspects, like your closets, laundry and that whole messy process.
Continue reading “Efficiency of Home Design, the Laundry Machine”
Her requirements were a bit unique, requiring a large soaking tub, a substantial walk-in closet area and built-in storage, this fashionista requirements and priorities shaped this unique apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY.
Continue reading “When the Best Plans go Wrong: Fashionista”
This project we’re working on is large enough to break into two articles, the first dealing with the parking facilities. When designing for a large multi-story apartment building, one must provide for parking. There is an option of using off-site parking but essentially one needs to own the property and that property must be within a reasonable distance to your building. That said, like on this project, the parking must be incorporated into the basement space.
This is where good architects stand out in my opinion, in that if the structure is right, and aligns with the apartment units above, there is a substantial savings in the avoidance of transfer beams. This is our approach to help lessen the financial burden of providing a parking garage yet do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the apartment units on the upper floors, or the retail space.
Continue reading “40 Unit Apartment Building in Brooklyn – PARKING FACILITIES”
A followup on the Apartment Themes is our Bathroom Themes, together and combined in different ways creates an apartment building, condo or co-op that provides each tenant with a special and unique place they can call home.
Continue reading “New Residential Development in Brooklyn – BATHROOM THEMES”
While there is often repetition in apartment building design, we decide to change up the standard so that each apartment doesn’t become a boring clone of the next apartment. In fact, how boring is it to go to your apartment and know that your apartment is exactly the same as every other apartment on the floor and in the building?
It is quite ridiculous to design in this way, that cookie-cutter way. People who purchase their own home clearly want that home to reflect their own personality, be slightly unique and have a quality they can be proud of. So why is it that in large apartment buildings where it would be financially easy to mix things up a bit that it isn’t done. The answer is simple: Architects and Interior Designers are lazy and cheap. They know that if they specify a bathroom, picking out fixtures, surfaces and hardware that they can do this for 300 apartments, charge for 300 apartments yet only have to do the exercise once. Yet it really isn’t much effort for them to do this same exercise 10 or 20 times and alternate the style of the bathrooms unit to unit. Are they afraid that the contractor will get confused? Do they really think a blue tile versus a tan tile will cost more to install? Are they just too lazy to do the work or perhaps they just don’t care. Do you really want to hire someone who is lazy and doesn’t care?
We we’re betting on that it does matter to you which is why we launched SimpleTwig Architecture.llc, to provide developers and homeowners with the best thinking architect in the business. Really, the best thinking architect? Well I have been hired by countless famous architects around the world to do just that for their business, and have designed the projects that major developers, institutions and agencies have come to see built. Now you can skip the high costs of a larger firm and go directly to the source, the mind behind the design, to get the best considered from all aspects for your own project.
But lets get back to the special qualities of this one project in Brooklyn.
Continue reading “New Residential Development in Brooklyn – UNIQUE APARTMENTS”