Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. (tkhomedesign.com) has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Housingzone.com. Todd welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248.446.1960.
Look ma! The war cry for young show offs world wide. I’m sure you have had a “look ma” moment or two in your life. I don’t know about you but mine typically ended with skinned knees and tears.
It was 1986 and my car du jour was a 1974 Monte Carlo with a 400 cubic inch motor and a 400 turbo transmission. Sure it was riddled with rust but it had the heart of a lion, a stellar example of good old Detroit muscle. On my way to work one morning at Kinney Shoes I stopped and picked up a healthy breakfast of two candy bars and a 32 ounce coke. As I pulled into the parking lot of the Summit Place Mall I noticed two of my coworkers (one of them a very cute blonde, the other a grumpy assistant manager) entering the building. Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea! I honked my horn several times to get their attention then proceeded to pull off a perfect dry pavement donut in the nearly deserted parking lot. Filled with pride as the car roared, tires screamed and smoke billowed I proceeded to squeeze the coke cup between my legs and spill it all over my new (Johnny Carson series) suit. Stepping out of the car I was scolded by my boss, the girl laughed at me and I spent the rest of the morning serving customers looking like I wet myself. Ah, another giant leap towards teenage social obscuredom.
Over the years I have noticed a bit of ill conceived “showing off” in the building community as well. A common design misconception is that in order for an elevation to be interesting and attractive it must have multiple roof lines and plan jogs. The fact is that breaks in the plane are often contrived, forcing rooms to be out of proportion, adding additional square footage, and plenty of unnecessary cost.
Aesthetic design is all about proportion, massing and scale. Often times the simpler the form, the more beautiful and stately the home becomes. So when your next project is being designed look to simplify the home by reducing jogs and roof breaks. You will save an incredible amount of money and still end up with a stunning home design. Once achieved feel free to show off and say “Look ma no jogs”!