In “Purpose. Intent.” we shared noise mitigation tips for the home and office, as unchecked noise levels immediately impact heart rate and blood pressure. And we distinguished the difference between the concept of style and designing to truly impact physiology and health.
To continue thinking about designing to impact health, physiology, mobility and response to space as it relates to work performance; productivity; stress reduction and comfort we are going to walk you through some successful built examples. Some of the projects that we share will be new to you and some you may recognize. Either way, we are highlighting elements that make these projects successful while making two important points. First, we want to show you that this is very simple to understand and implement. Secondly, once in use, these design strategies are timeless.
We have prepared a list of elements for you to look out for in the examples that we share. The elements that are primarily important to the long-term success of these built examples are:
The above elements, in concert with the incorporation of Universal Products and designing from (and for) multiple perspectives are critical to having a successful high-quality project that will stand out and retain its long-term value.
As we begin to post Built Examples to support this research here at Houzz.com, we hope you will recognize the above listed elements and their relevance to long-term value. We will do our best to explain it for you.
For more information on perception, physiology/health and design - check out the article “Corridors of the Mind” from The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA).
Here is a brief excerpt from this article below:
“…in designing hospitals, schools, and homes for people with all manner of disabilities, (we could) create places that would support the development of premature babies, the treatment of children with autism, the fostering of learning abilities of students…. imagine an Alzheimer’s facility that could help its residents remember who they are.”
The full article is posted here: http://www.psmag.com/culture/corridors-of-the-mind-49051/ Compelling evidence for more research and thought on the designer’s end regarding health and designs impact on physiology.
Commonwealth Design and Accessibility Partnership
occoquan ~ richmond ~ williamsburg ~ tidewater
Welcome to 5291 Scuffletown Road. This is an Orange County Virginia estate located on the Rapidan River. These days, a home of this size (3 finished floors plus an attic, at 4,500 heated and cooled square feet) would... a) not look nearly as substantial as this - unless you had an uncompromisingly world class design team and constructors and b) would cost you at least $300.00 to $500.00 per square foot (not including the value of the land). This perfectly proportioned, pristine condition home was built in 1852.
A home like 5291 Scuffletown Road holds its value because ... a) it was painstakingly built back when building was ~always~ a form of high art b) it was carefully maintained by the owner(s) and c) it has the basic requirements as we stated above. Which are: ~geometry/proportion (desire/perception) ~material/texture (comfort) ~color/value (experience) ~light/views (connection)
Every detail counts in a project of this nature. Here - instead of obstructing views and natural light with the traditional go-to closet... the owners opted for counter-height built-ins. A very smart way to respect the historic plan while satisfying their unavoidable and obvious need for work space and storage. This decision maintains the homes original integrity and long term value.
Slipping this work station into the foyer at the top of the stairs is a great way to use the extra space here while maintaining unobstructed views to the outside and your projects long-term value. Slow down and rethink your needs. Consider how building new partitions will impact views and access to natural light. Do you really need a closed room for your home office? This project is on 50+ acres - tell your kids to go play outside for a few hours... they need the exercise...
You can drop faux beams anywhere in your project to add texture. Here, the builder simply pulled off the gypsum board and cleaned it up to expose the original, natural wood structure beneath. If you do not have a home built in 1852 you probably will not have such beautiful wood structure behind your gypsum board to work with. But - you can drop faux beams anywhere. You can use wood laminate or solid timber - whatever texture or depth you desire. Adding material texture to your project adds interest, emphasizes (or de-emphasizes) scale and adds to your projects long-term value.
Here, keeping exposed brick rather than painting over it is another way to respect 5291 Scuffletown Road's historic significance and maintain its long term value. These owners were aware that painting over original materials will immediately impact the worth of the original material (and not in a good way). Much like the exposed beams, keeping it simple with a focus on materiality and comfort does maintain a projects value. At the end of the day, either you connect with raw materials or you do not. This is a personal choice. If you want to paint over the brick - do it. But - keep in mind that most people have a deeper connection to exposed, raw materials and textures. Allowing dropped beams, wood floors, exposed brick, etc. to be a part of your next project is an excellent way to add equity. You also need to know that if you have a true historic material in your project - painting over it will likely kill its worth.
That said - now we can visit a building that needs no introduction to Virginians - Monticello. This is 11,000 square feet constructed during a time when building was ~always~ an art form. The bricks and nails were custom made onsite. Construction was sporadic in phases and completed in about 1808. By the way - there are builders out there who are very serious about their work and do consider what they do to be a form of art. They typically will not admit that - but it is sometimes still true.
We are not wild about the Monticello interiors. The interior dentil work, wood molding and inlayed wood floors are impressive - but - the proportions are awkward. Natural light is absolutely maximized. Back then, TJ had no electricity so having access to natural light was not optional. This is a priceless project. Imagine if this project fell into the hands of someone who wanted to gut it and change everything. Needless to say, a combination of skilled design, planning, the utmost skilled craftsman building and careful maintenance over the years have contributed to the long-term value of this built work.
This is the Hood Museum addition designed by Charles Moore. This just proves that great, timeless design does not have to be perfectly symmetrical. This design is still meeting all of the basic requirements necessary to have a successful and valuable project: ~geometry/proportion (desire/perception) ~material/texture (comfort) ~color/value (experience) ~light/views (connection)
A similar story here, in London at the British Museum's Great Court renovation by Norman Foster. The round building at the center is a library. This was originally an outdoor court open to the elements. The sensation of being in an outdoor space which is now enclosed that retains all of its exterior features is an experience that is hard to describe. This project attracts visitors from all over the world.
This is the Metropolitan Museum of New York's Sculpture Hall which is located next to the exterior of the original Museum building (on the right). The typical approach for a redesign is to tear up, destroy and completely reconfigure. Much like the British Museum's Great Court enclosure, The Met used the same approach and left a space between the original Museum building rather than tearing up the original structure for a redesign. Richard Morris Hunt was a major contributor to the design of the the original building (1900's). The enclosure and addition was designed in the early 1990's by KRJD & Associates.
This is a view of the original MET building shown prior to the addition which would be placed on the far right. The addition shown in the previous image was a smart way to honor the original historic structure, while maintaining its integrity and long-term value. To cut the original building up would immediately reduce its equity.
This is the MET's Great Hall. When the MET decided to renovate, they knew that they were working with a true work of highly valuable art. This building is valuable for many reasons. It is valuable because it possesses the basic elements that we have listed (above) and for the fact that materials such as this, detailing such as this, and design such as this is very rare due to the rising costs associated with obtaining a project of this quality and substance.
You may not think that either building is "beautiful" by any standard but both are artfully constructed, carefully like perfectly proportioned substantial puzzles. From the structure holding these buildings up, to the stone sculptures decorating each surface like pieces of jewelry, these buildings are one of a kind. Today it is economically challenging for most designers and builders to match this standard of quality.
It's not just the history - its the collection of historic buildings. So, why are our historic buildings so charming and attractive? Here is our list one more time.... ~geometry/proportion (desire/perception) ~material/texture (comfort) ~color/value (experience) ~light/views (connection) You are immersed in these elements when you are here. You can have these elements present in your next project and attain the same long-term, lasting value. We assure you - these elements never get old.