Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The River House

For a change of pace, it is back to me and what I do for a living.  I am an architect.  I design houses along with additions, renovations and historic preservation.  This has been my occupation since graduating from college in 1979.

There is a house that I designed that is currently under construction.  It is turning out to be the favorite of all the houses I have done as it combines the qualities that I find important in my work.  The design is done in an Old Florida style. Simple shape, wrap around porch, white siding, metal roof, etc.  It evokes houses built in the state in the early 1900's.

The clients are a young couple.  The husband is the son of clients I have worked for since 1988 and this marks the fifth major residential project I have designed for the family.  Any architect would be thrilled with such a relationship.

The property is in Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River in my neighborhood of Avondale.  The river location is where The Ortega River and Fishweir Creek joins the St. Johns, with views from every side of the house (thus the wrap around porch).  It would be difficult to find a better piece of property in Jacksonville.

We had some issues in getting the building permit.  The site is deemed to be in a flood plain that involves moving water.  So this house sits on concrete pilings.  These extend 35 feet into the ground.  In addition to that the minimum floor elevation of the house is approximately six feet higher than the ground was before construction, making for many truckloads of fill before beginning the work.  But this height enhances the views and presence of the house.

The contractor is a fine friend of mine.  He was given the contract after I suggested to the owners that his company would be the best choice for the work.  They have done a spectacular job so far.

With the ongoing construction, the house gets better every day.  I don't usually like visiting my construction sites, but this one draws me to visit often.

A few weeks ago.  The entry side.

View from the entry side of the house.  View to Fishweir Creek.

Yesterday, view of house from mechanical screen wall at back of garage.

The river side of the house.  

The entry side yesterday.

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