Work is progressing on the Eichler house design, with the floor plan finalized, and the front elevation drawing done. With these complete, I can begin the process of creating the actual model. The finished plan is based on an A. Quincy Jones plan which originally featured four bedrooms and a separate hobby/laundry room off the kitchen. While the design was cutting edge for the 1950's, the kitchen and bedrooms were quite small by today's standards, and both bathrooms were laid out oddly, with commodes placed directly in front of doors or traffic areas. Since I was wanting to create a plan that would be considered livable in the 21st century, so let's take a tour. The entire house was widened by five feet, mainly to accommodate a double entry door into the enlarged atrium. I enlarged the kitchen by adding a bump-out in the exterior wall and moving the garage forward by four feet, which also added to the family/multi-purpose room. I eliminated the laundry room behind the kitchen, and shifted the formal dining room to utilize that space. The living room was moved in the same direction, and the additional four feet from the wider entry allowed for enlarging the Master Suite, and relocating the hallway coat closet. The tiny, 10'x13' fourth bedroom was eliminated, with the space used for a smaller laundry room, and a larger master bath, which now includes both a shower and a tub, with the commode re-positioned out of view of the entry to the reconfigured walk-in closet. The second bath was reconfigured, and the exterior door eliminated to correct the "pass-through" feel of the original. This made it possible to correct the entry to the third bedroom, which had previously been off the bathroom, and both the second and third bedrooms were both enlarged by about a foot in width. Externally, a covered carport was added alongside the garage, with an exterior door to the kitchen to facilitate unloading the car after a 21st century trip to Costco. The only foreseeable changes I might consider at this point would be to the roof line, as the current roof pitch is 12.66:1, which is considered extremely flat for a residential structure, but we'll see. So far, the design is only a model, and not subject to building codes.
Joseph Eichler, was a post-war American real estate developer who became famous for developing distinctive residential subdivisions of Mid-Century modern style tract housing in California. Between 1950 and 1974, his company, Eichler Homes, built over 11,000 homes in twelve communities in both Northern and Southern California. Collectively, they all came to be known as “Eichlers”.
Eichler used well-known architects to design both the site plans and the homes themselves. The first prototypes were designed by Robert Anshen, and in later years, more Eichler Homes were built with designs by Claude Oakland & Associates, Jones & Emmons, A. Quincy Jones, and Raphael Soriano.
Eichler homes feature a branch of Modernist architecture known as "California Modern," and typically feature glass walls, post-and-beam construction, and open floorplans. The interiors had numerous innovative features including exposed post-and-beam construction, tongue and groove decking for the ceilings, concrete slab floors with radiant heating, lauan paneling, extensive use of sliding doors, and a standard second bathroom located in the master bedroom. The exteriors featured flat or low-sloping A-Framed roofs, vertical 2-inch pattern wood siding, and rather plain facades with clean geometric lines. One of Eichler's signature concepts was the use skylights, floor-to-ceiling glass windows with glass transoms, and atriums looking out into private gardens or outdoor spaces to “bring the outside in”, resulting in homes that were airy and modern in comparison to most of the mass-produced, middle-class, postwar homes being built in the 1950s. Another major change from other architectural designs of the period was that most Eichler homes featured few, if any, street-facing windows, while most other architectural designs have almost all front rooms featuring large windows.
For my own version, I’m taking the lead of several of Eichler’s contemporary developers, in mostly sticking to an Eichler floorplan (by Claude Oakland & Associates), but changing it just a bit to suit my own purposes. In place of the A-Frame of the Eichler design, I’ll be using a low-pitched flat roof, and a modified floor plan with a larger kitchen and bedrooms, while retaining the signature entry atrium, and adding a carport along side the two-car garage. While the design is currently still in the “pencil sketch” phase, I’ll be adding updates and photos as it progresses.
|This was the first completed test build of one of my newest projects, the Jefferies-class Frigate.|
|From the photo above, of the first test build, to this latest version took several months and four other models, in various stages of detail. As you can see, I still have some work to do to get the angle of the warp nacelles dialed in...|
|Front View, with surface detail...|