We’re excited to report that New Usonian House is preparing to break ground in the southeast corner of Hendricks County in spring of 2020!
Our clients for this exciting project contacted us in mid-2018. Specifically, they were ready to begin taking action on their plan to design and build a one-story, Usonian-inspired residence. Without a doubt, creating an environment to age-in-place was a big priority; something low-maintenance, high-performance, light-filled, and one with the surrounding site. And most certainly, low-maintenance living was a big priority for this retirement dwelling. They hoped to subdivide their 15-acre property and build on the side pasture (5-7 acres).
Owners had been doing their homework. For example, over the past few years, they have vacationed in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samuel Eppstein Residence and other intimately-scaled modern homes. These experiences helped inspire and shape their vision for how they would like to live into retirement before ever contacting HAUS.
Inspired by the beautiful views to the north-northeast treeline, our clients have aptly named the property, “Sunset Ridge”. In fact, we have designed and oriented the house to capitalize on these excellent views. And interestingly, this view angle also aligns with the primary jet flight-path over this site, which is just a few miles southwest of the Indianapolis International Airport.
New Usonian House
Clients: Private Owners (retirement, universally-designed dwelling)
Architecture: HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles with Client
Interior Design: HAUS with Client
Photography/Renderings: HAUS (except where noted otherwise)
Usonian Vision – Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Vision (excerpt from Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)
Responding to the financial crisis of 1929 and ensuing Great Depression that gripped the United States and the rest of the world, Wright began working on affordable housing, which developed into the Usonian house. Wright’s Usonians were a simplified approach to residential construction that reflected both economic realities and changing social trends. In the Usonian houses, Wright was offering a simplified, but beautiful environment for living that Americans could both afford and enjoy. Wright would continue to design Usonian houses for the rest of career, with variations reflecting the diverse client budgets.
“Hey, that sounds familiar! Our clients also all have various budgets!”, says HAUS
Here are some relevant links about Usonian Architecture:
The Design Process – New Usonian House:
With our clients, we began the design process in the middle of 2018. By the end of the year, we had established a firm design direction and overall project scope. However, before continuing forward to develop more detailed design development, our clients wanted to pause and take care of a few due-diligence items.
First, the property needed to be subdivided. This wasn’t totally straightforward, as there were a few tricky zoning hurdles to clear involving street-side landscaping, sidewalks, and drainage. Also, we needed to confirm that new well and septic service was workable, and determine how we were handling utilities. While all of this was happening, our client worked to also get their existing property ready for sale.
After exploring a few different organizational concepts, we settled on the plan layout below. Public and private areas are segregated in plan. Subsequently, the 3D architectural solution followed suit, utilizing a combination of flat and shed roofs to reinforce the inherent hierarchies established in the diagram.
For this project, we are planning for a future ground-mounted solar array to serve the home. Also, we are currently scoping for use of ICF-insulated concrete forms for the basement and foundation walls.
We re-engaged the design in fall 2019. Currently, build team is pricing-out the basic construction documents to make sure we’re in-budget for the scopes identified. For the most part, we are holding on final design refinements until we cross that bridge.
Please check back, as we’ll certainly be adding to the story!