PLAN 1374 SQ. FT. (VITRUVIUS)
, three bedrooms, two bath...
1. This plan is based on information and drawings found in the book Vitruvious, the ten books on architecture, translated by Morris Hickey Morgan, and the book City, a story of roman planning and construction by David Macaulay. The Roman city house with its large central atruim and peristyle surrounded by rooms, with bedrooms upstairs was a very large house. By designing "half" a Roman house including the atrium and upstairs bedrooms, and considering the peristyle (an enclosed garden) a latter addition, the house can be kept to a reasonable size and still include most of the classic elements.
2. The elements of this house, the long narrow entrance into a central (open) artium surrounded by the main living areas with the bedrooms up by exposed stairs, all covered by a beautiful tile hip roof, results in a very attractive classical structure best suited to moderate "Mediterranean" climates. Straw bales are well suited to the thick wall design.
3. Symmetryis an important design element with a central and centered entry, atrium, fountain, and exit/entry into the future peristyle. The first level plan is mirror image symmetrical, with the same size and shape of rooms on either side. Seating is built in with storage under and classical Roman lounging/dining. As in the original plans a shop (or other public/commercial space faces the street with its own entrance. Mirror image staircases lead up to the three bedrooms, each with their own interior balcony (not in classic designs).
4. Two full baths, stacked, are located between the utility room and the kitchen for plumbing efficiency. In Roman times the "utility" room would be used for food (grain) storage. The kitchen is not part of a larger multipurpose area but fully private as in Roman houses. An optional root cellar/wine cellar/dungeon is accessed between the kitchen and dining area below the up-stairs. An exit door here would provide good access to a modern garage.
The dining, atrium, living areas function as one large circulation area centered on the fountain with glass doors offering weather protection as needed. As the living/media area is small, the atrium will be heavily used in good weather. A cistern could be added below the atrium as in Roman times catching water form the open hip above. In Roman houses the fountain is located in the Peristyle.
5. Two outside staircases lead up from the atrium to the second level, one to the master bedroom, one to the other bedrooms. The master bedroom has a large walk in closet, leading to the bath. The street side bedroom must access the upstairs bath through the "outside" portio. The atrium bedroom must use the first level bathroom. The circulation pattern in this house is less "efficient" than many other plans, but given the right climate, living in this house will be dramatic and envigorating.
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