Jewel Box Architecture

Since the economy took a plunge, I have come across more and more articles about downsizing the average American home. Prominent home builders and even market-savvy architects are starting to offer smaller homes - even "micro" homes - as part of their inventory. The term Jewel Box Architect is being thrown around for such homes that are less than 2000sf with compact footprints and a high degree of craft inside. What a revelation! Those homes have been our bread and butter for years. The house on Crooked Lane perhaps best exemplifies that architectural concept. It was built in 2006 and the owners have really personalized it.

One of my personal favorite houses we have completed recently, the Clarkesville Cottage, exhibits a jewel box quality although to me it seems rather roomy at 1915sf. I wish I had some interior photos of it to show how cozy it is. Maybe that will be part of my next entry...


About Style...

Most of my published work has thus far been categorized in a modern architectural style. I still think the modern style offers more flexibility to design with the environment in mind but occasionally context dictates style. That is the case with a current project I have in the Clarkesville neighborhood of Austin. The neighborhood is very rich in 1920's bungalow and gingerbread style houses. It's difficult to justify a divergence from the context. I mean, it can be done but is it worth the ire of the neighborhood not to mention the disruption of urban fabric?

So, the above images represent two designs for a site in Clarkeville. One design is more iconic, with three very traditional gables facing the street and the other closely resembles what the owner would most likely prefer: a Charleston style side-courtyard house.

The intention is to research historical details for the exterior of the house while featuring green building techniques. The inside will be a mix of modern conveniences in a traditional layout.