Plan 868 sq. ft.URBAN, two level, two bedrooms, one bath.


1. This design started as an exercise to determine how small one can successfully design at two level, an attempt to place the staircase in a small central "green house" (for thermal mass and drama), and a continued interest in "forcing" a workable plan within a predetermined symmetrical form, relying on the form for the power and success of the house.

2. The form is basically three 10' by 10' boxes lined on the east west axis (for passive solar), the same form stacked above, and small north/south extensions for spatial interest, space for front and rear entrances, room for the "green house" on the south and utilities on the north. This form suggests a democracy of use with the same amount of space for the kitchen/utility, the dining area, the living area, and the two bedrooms. In actuality some borrowing and sharing takes place, with the living area left a bit cramped.

3. The U shaped "country" kitchen is large, light, airy, functional and, to make this plan work, includes the washer and dryer. The hot water heater and furnace/boiler are located within the north side extension (frame, no straw), with access from the outside allowing a large book/display case on the inside wall. The Hot water heater is located directly below the bath above, close to the washing machine, with a reasonable run to the kitchen sink.

4. The dining area is centrally located, partially occupying space below the open staircase (which also serves as a plant shelve, receiving direct sun light through the two level "green house"). The southern extension (framed, no straw) contains the entry, staircase landing, and defines the "green house" space. Room is available for a wood burning stove (as shown) with wood storage under the staircase, the chimney rising through the open space above, effectively heating both levels. The living area is small but adequate for a small two bedroom house and uses space below the staircase for an entertainment center.

6. Upstairs are two bedrooms, 10' by 10' squares over the kitchen and living area, with the "master bedroom" borrowing space from the central open area for a closet, (with access through the closet to a small plant shelf enjoyable from both levels). The hallway provides access to both bedrooms, and the three elements of the bathing area, functioning as an extension of the master bedroom.

7. The separate toilet, lavatory and shower/tub areas extend the usefulness of the bathing area (each with their own window for natural daylight and view). The optional glass blocks allow light and heat to enter the tub area from the green house. The small, central open area to below allows winter light and heat to penetrate deep into the lower level.

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