I first mentioned this teardown in May. This is one of my very favorite construction projects. It's not an intellectual thing, but I might eventually find words to explain it.
It's by Rutledge Alcock Architects, Decatur, Georgia.
I talked with principal Andy Rutledge today. Andy says there is a lot more goodness yet to come. He's keeping a special eye on it as well he should. It's in a prominent place on one of Atlanta's great streets. It can only be seen in context with it's neighbors. There is no hiding, no separation as there might be on an estate lot. This is Morningside.
Oh those windows: the Auburn "School" filters Lutyens. My architect friend Carl Bridgers told me that is it doesn't feel good during construction, it probably won't feel good when it's completed. This is feeling good right now.
Have a look now. Window pane heaven.
The driveway facade faces north-northeast. The light will be indirect and diffuse reducing shadows and glare. Recesses and bump outs will maximize light in the interior. There are plenty of niches and bumps on the south side too.
Now that I've done a mind-meld with A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, these come to mind:
159. LIGHT ON TWO SIDES OF EVERY ROOM
When they have a choice, people will always gravitate to those rooms which have light on two sides, and leave the rooms which are lit only from one side unused and empty.
164. STREET WINDOWS
A street without windows is blind and frightening. And it is equally uncomfortable to be in a house which bounds a public street with no window at all on the street.
192. WINDOWS OVERLOOKING LIFE
Rooms without a view are prisons for the people who have to stay in them.
222. LOW SILL
One of a window's most important functions is to put you in touch with the outdoors. If the sill is too high, it cuts you off.
239. SMALL PANES
When plate glass windows became possible, people thought that they would put us more directly in touch with nature. In fact, they do the opposite.
They alienate us from the view. The smaller the windows are, and the smaller the panes are, the more intensely windows help connect us with what is on the other side. This is an important paradox...This one is quite challenging in our value engineering environment---
221. NATURAL DOORS AND WINDOWS
Finding the right position for a window or a door is a subtle matter. But there are very few ways of building which take this into consideration.
In our current ways of building, the delicacy of placing a window or a door has nearly vanished. But it is just this refinement, down to the last foot, even to the last inch or two, which makes an immense difference. Windows and doors which are just right are always like this. Find a beautiful window. Study it. See how different it would be if its dimensions varied a few inches in either direction.I'm really enjoying this one.