The evolution of a design in your mind's eye, through centers

Definition of a center


Each of these phases is long enough for a single session. The neighbors should complete a session, then have a rest, before starting another session.


Session 1: Diagnosis

  1. Ask yourself which part of the chosen site is most beautiful, NOW, as a place -- and is the place you would most like to keep as it is when the neighborhood green is finished. It may be the thing that makes you love the site.

    Imagine the garden as a beautiful center, positive and living. It will be helpful to have a first vague picture of the house as a center which -- because of its position -- supports and helps this garden.

  2. How big is the house. Decide roughly, to the nearest 100 square feet, how many square feet it has.

    To visualize the size, measure a large room you like, and decide how big the house is, recognizing that its cost could be between $9,000 and $15,000 for every 100 square feet.

  3. Is the house one-story or two-story or a micture of the two. After answering this question by shutting your eyes, and trying to see it in your mind's eye, then you can calculate roughly how big the footprint of the house will be, in square feet.

    For convenience, you may find it helpful to express this in a few sample rectangles, so you know how long and how deep the building might be.

  4. If the house is going to have a terrace or some outdoor area which is your favorite outdoor place, can you see where you would want this to be. You may need to visit the site to find out. If you can visualize this place, ask yourself where this spot should be, and which way you are (naturally) facing when you sit there.

    Choose the most beautiful spot which will be a living center in the garden, and which is looking at a beautiful spot.

  5. Can you get an idea how big you would like to have this terrace, where it is, and where its corners are. If you can visualize its shape, put stakes in the ground to help yourself visualize the terrace more clearly.

    Make the terrace a beautiful and positive center.

  6. Now, given your choice of this outdoor terrace, where would you most naturally want to put the main room of your cottage, in relation to the terrace. Does it open to it directly. Do you know, by standing on the land, where you would like to have the room, and how its relation to the terrace works?

    If you can, can you decide roughly the size and shape of the room, and put stakes in the corners, so you can visualize the room, and the terrace together, what one sees from the room, lookign toward the terrace, and how big the room is, and what its orientation is? If you can, ask yourself these questions, and decide whatever you can. It is worth giving answers even if they are tentative. You can always change them later, but the more your know now, about your feeling regarding this room, the better your small house will become.

    Establish the main room in position, and make it a as a definite center.

  7. What all this amounts to, is that you can feel, already, what the living room has as its view, what one looks towards, what part of the world, large or small, does it give onto. If you can do it, this will establish a considerable part of the life of this room -- and of your house.

    Make the living room and terrace and view, together, a living center.

This completes Session 1

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Go to session two