Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prairie Style

In an earlier posting I wrote about dog trot houses and our desire to include this regional element into our lake house.  
There is another, larger reference point that shaped our design ideas: Prairie Style.
Here we are in the middle of Texas blackland prairie, so it's a natural fit to look back to the late 19th and early 20th century designs usually labeled as the Prairie School.  There is great variety in the original home designs, but some of the key elements they have in common include strong horizonal lines (perfect for our wide piece of land), deep overhanging eaves (sun & heat protection), open floor plans with a central chimney (just what we wanted), and clerestory windows (very high on my must include list).
Add to that the ambiance of a Texas ranch house: limestone and stucco, metal roof, stacked stone enclosure.  Here is a picture I took at one of the missions in San Antonio a few weeks ago that just seems to capture some of that texture.

And here is our translation of these elements: a drawing of our front elevation.
The little colored drawing at the top is my idea sketch and the fancy blue version was done by our architect.

The dog trot is that opening between the main building and the guest house.  (Disregard the sidewalks and landscaping, as the front will be enclosed by a courtyard.)  The façade is Texas limestone and stucco with a metal roof.  In some ways it's hard to imagine this flat, two dimentional drawing transformed into a real building, but that's the plan!

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