How can I make this house more beautiful?

Hello. I have no architectural education at all, I just have it as a hobby to draw houses.

I have been working very hard on my dream house and this is what I have done so far:

(I’m gonna draw in in 3D in SketchUp later.) I was pleased with the floor plan, but when I saw this house I was totally devastated because it was so much more beautiful than mine. :slight_smile:

(TOLO Architecture)

It is so simple and natural/obvious in it’s simplicity. With many cubes put together, part of windows and parts of just wall. I have noticed that cubes are often beautiful.

How do I make my floor plan more like this house…? How do I make it prettier to look at…? How do I make it more simple…?

PS. That house is seen in the movie Fracture. Most beautiful villa I have ever seen. :smiley:

(Fracture (2007) - IMDb)

Strange that those giant Jalousie style windows that just crank up and out like could be energy efficient at all for such a modern looking house. I live in Florida and just had to invest in new windows for an old house so I’ve been researching them for about a year. It looks like California but maybe high elevation so it’s not that hot?

There are many, many seals where each of those opening windows just fall into place.

I don’t think the window designs are practical. But I guess people who can afford this home don’t care about efficiency?

You should either copy it or you should get some architecture education so you can make it even better than that…

I would think the first is a horrible choice, the second might take you too long.

I often find it very hard to believe that people that have the money to build such a house have trouble hiring a good architect. I’m from Portugal, so I might get a bit expensive… but there are a lot of architects on this forum so they might be easy to find, and it should be fairly easy finding one you like too.

Otherwise, why not simply finding who designed that house and hire him/her…

I wonder if they could be awning windows with a very narrow mull.?


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I’m not gonna build it. I just do it for fun.

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I work in the fenstration industry (posh name for windows & glazing) - it’s amazing what you can do with glass: There are glazing units available that are just as efficient as a solid wall. There are glasses that can emit heat instead of radiators, turn opaque at the flick of a switch, block heat and UVa, have built-in blinds between the panes,…

Depending on the building control laws in your country, there are rules about efficiency: normally having lots of a poorer insulated element (glass) can be compensated for by increasing the insulation level in another area of the building.

Yeah, I am amazed. My new windows made a huge difference. Double Pane, .17 solar coefficiency ? glazed… Cost me 11K to do my very small and very modest old Florida house.

But man, I am amazed and these windows.

It depends on the wall. Here in northern Europe it is not uncommon for new houses to have 300 mm insulation or even more, and you cannot match that with glass, even if there have been some quite dramatic improvements.


sorry - hanging around with salesmen too long; however with quadruple glazing getting down to 0.3 U values, that is the same as a typical insulated, exterior wall. (FYI Single glazing is about 4W/m2K and high performance double glazing is 1.3W/m2K)

Oh, and I’m in Scotland - not quite Scandinavia, but a long way from Spain

Here we can get glazing (I don’t remember if it is double or triple) that is 0.8W/m2K and is actually better than the frames you put it in, so the resulting windows will be 1.0W… These are used quite routinely.


Yea, 44mm TGU with 2 low-e coatings, argon fill, warm edge spacer and RCM reinforcement in PVCu frames get a 0.8 o/a U value.
If you use Krypton instead of Argon and Planitherm1 you can get it down to 0.5, but this is normally cost prohibitive for the minimal benefit.

The stupid thing is that with the “Energy rating” system in the UK (“A rated” like fridges & washing machines), these units are too efficient - they block so much of the heat from escaping, they also stop you benefiting from solar gain (even with low-iron glass)

This thread seems to have been hijacked from Hobby Architects original question to a discourse on all things windows. Has HA’s question been answered?

Sorry that makes sense. My advice is still good enough…

But there is no fast way of creating beautiful and original architecture.

Try copying it first then change it until it’s fundamentally different because of your ideas?

Educate yourself into architecture by searching for a lot of ideas and visiting places.

I am assuming that you have drawn your house to scale or know the room sizes.

1.Download Sketchup if you don’t have it.
2. Scan your sketches.
3. Use the scan as an image in your Sketchup Drawing and put it on a layer called SCAN or whatever.
4. Trace over portions (rooms) of your sketches,set them to the proper dimension, make them components, and put each on it’s own layer.
5. Draw each room on Layer 0 and in the Entity Info box assign the component to a layer
6. Turn the layer off as you finish each one until you have nothing left of your new drawing.
7. Turn off the Scan layer and turn on the house layers.
8. Make any adjustments to any room that you want by revising the room component until you are happy,
Note that you will probably have to move the other components a bit as you modify things.

Sketchup will put things to an accurate scale and cleans up your work so you get a better idea of what you are creating.

When you are happy with the plan, you can work on elevations and then the 3D model. Or you can work in the 3D model first as a massing model and refine the resulting elevations. I find that a combined 2D/3D approach works best for me…Dave Richards has other approaches. Mine come from too many years of architectural design with a pencil.

Look at Dave Richards’ work in Design Click Build and on Sketchucation. He is an excellent resource and practices everyday.

Architectural design is an iterative process and very seldomly do you get the best result on the first try.

Good luck…and don’t sweat the windows. Those comments went down a rabbit hole.

Sorry gadget, but that’s fenestration (you left out an “e”–your best friend should tell you). One of my very favorite words has always been “defenestrate,” which means to throw (something or someone) out the window. Regretably, one doesn’t get too many opportunities to say that.


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The most famous occurred in 1618 and “started the 30-year war” (like the shooting in Sarayevo "started the first World War). So it might be better not to be tried too often.


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Detail. Its all in the details of the home. Replicate what you see. Get as many photos of the home as you can. This is a nice house… Might even remake it myself :smiley:

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