PLAN 670 sq. ft. (EYE) two or three bedrooms, one bath
1. This plan evolved when I realized that a round house is much more efficient when east/west corners are added to create an Eye shape. The Eye shape provides 4 long straight walls with two familiar square corners, but also long curved walls on the north and south face for interest. The shape provides a long mostly south facing exposure for solar gain, and angles back to the north, mostly eliminating the winter shade area (where snow never melts) typically found in the plans with a long east/west rectangular footprint.
2. At 670 square feet we get one large bedroom and a large office (as shown), or one average bedroom (on the east) and two very small bedrooms (on the west) or one large and one small bedroom. (In the small bedroom plan, futon matresses are placed on platforms with storage under with room for a nice sized closet, not shown). All this is supported by a large full bath, and a large utility, mud room with an optional staircase up to a loft (or full second floor), or down to a full or partial basement.
Or use the east bedroom as a combination utility room (water heater, furnace, washer, dryer), and pantry for the small kitchen...freeing the north room to be uses as a office, study, work room or sitting room.
3. The small strip kitchen, and the bath are backed to an efficient plumbing wall with the hot water heater located near by (in either variation) for short plumbing runs and instant hot water. An island provides additional counter space in the kitchen and is backed up to an entertainment center facing into the lounge. The shared public living space features build in seating with storage under with room for another couch, a dining table and a large plant or two. Yes, it is tight but it works, especially well on nice days when you can open the double french doors to the outside.
4. The long south face provides good solar exposure but may be more difficult to shield from oppressive midsummer sun. Shading must be well thought out to prevent summer overheating. Exterior shutters may be the answer. As the round houses, the Eye shape may be built with a 14',15',16',17',18',19', or 20' radius (for example) with much the same floor plan, but with considerably more room in each use area. (See house 1148 EYE with an 18' radius) At $10 per square foot, the 670 sq. ft. house could be built for about $7,000 in materials vs. about $12,000 for the larger 18' radius.
5. This plan would likely be more difficult and expensive to build than a rectangular house of the same size but has the potential to be more interesting. The most logical roof (shown) is a gable over the midsection with hip corners falling off to the east and west. The roof could be supported on an external posts and beams system, on the outside of the straw bale walls...with posts about the location of the dotted roof line.
A thatched cone roof falling lower over the east and west corners would be very attractive, but difficult to construct. Or be brave and do a "flat"..actually a sloping shed roof to the north...with (framed) parapets for a great southwest look. And don't forget the eyebrow to shield the summer sun.
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