Hesitant to completely abandon the petal concept, but realizing we needed to move in a more straightforward, cost-conscious direction, we had an interesting conversation with our structural engineers that sparked some intriguing ideas. We wanted to maintain the richness in the design that allowed the program to be on split levels, and still needed the atrium to be in the heart of the building. As we talked through structural ideas in wood, we began to sketch two boxes attached by a light well. Stuart Fix, our Passivehaus and Energy consultant, helped us create very quick variations to test how the different configurations would perform on energy, day-lighting, and other performance factors. We were able to very quickly determine which configurations would work best and we agreed— guided by our past work and gut intuition—a long, skinny building orientated on the east-west axis always works best. Too bad our site is more square in shape than a rectangle. This has caused some difficultly in planning for the amount of parking required and factoring in some landscape and an edible garden to supply the on-site cafe. So many things to balance! I hope Dennis & Christy don’t throw anymore craziness into the mix!
Website: Manasc Isaac