About the project
The project is only for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 office, gothic/medieval/fantasy ‘mini-manor’ primary residence. The manor will be the largest (but still small) of several similarly themed structures on the property. Our end goal with this property is to create a medieval micro-village with 2-5 additional medieval/fantasy themed rental units. Our lot is only 1.3 acres, so the primary residence will need to make a big impression while leaving a small footprint.
The top selections will have a distinctive appearance that resembles dwellings built 500+ years ago. They will have a well-designed interior that incorporates our Layout requirements and ‘Likes’. It will be a dwelling that supports entertaining, as well as privacy.
We are a small family consisting of 2 parents and a teenage son. Although we are somewhat introverted, we like to entertain and host several parties throughout the year. We find that being around people can be draining so we use our privacy to recharge. The Halloween season is our favorite time of year. We are big fans of theme parks, renaissance festivals, and love the Hogsmeade addition at Universal Studios. When traveling, we like to visit museums and architecturally interesting areas (cathedrals, churches, cave dwellings, haunted houses etc). We want our home to show that you can have quality and uniqueness without building with sticks. Example structures that we found interesting can be seen on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/joelnbtx/primary-manor-design-concepts/)
• Simple things that work and require low maintenance
• Combination of different elements in design, rock, timber, metal
• Wood floors
• Spooky atmospheres
• Aged, things that last and have been around awhile
• Rooms with purpose; well-designed living areas that utilize space to its fullest
• Stainless work tables and sinks (low maintenance)
• Open rooms as seen in patio style restaurants
• Reused, Recycled, Repurposed
• Form over function
• Boxy modern cookie-cutter designs
• Non-sustainable McMansions
• Things like sink mounted faucets, because they are hard to clean behind
• Cabinets and deep shelves, because things get lost and it encourages hoarding
• Granite counters
• Carpet and large tiled areas
• Wasted space as in huge “Chef’s” kitchens, grand entry halls, sitting areas in bedrooms
• Ceilings and attics
The exterior construction will be of a monolithic wall technology, either autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) block, or compressed earthen (CEB) block. The exterior walls will be greater than 12 inches thick. The roof trusses will be mounted on a concrete bond beam attached to the exterior walls. Roofs can be metal, shingled, or EPDM (or similar membrane). The underside of the roof will be spray-polyurethane foam insulation. The underside of the roof will be visible in most rooms. Main interior walls will also be monolithic in nature, but will be only 6 inches thick. We want to avoid the use of any drywall. Stud walls, when necessary, will be clad in wooden planks. We would like open ceilings in all general areas. For the exterior, we would like a small short-walled patio or courtyard. We do not have any architectural review boards or home owners associations to contend with. We would like the design to incorporate passive solar, and other ‘green’ concepts.
• Master bedroom will be attached to the master bathroom. The bedroom needs to receive the morning sun. No sitting area, we sleep and dress in the bedrooms.
• Master bathroom only needs a shower. We would like to include a bidet and dual sinks. The bathroom is preferably connected to a sensible sized walk-in closet.
• Standard bedroom with a small walk-in closet. Preferably positioned to receive the morning sun as well. Not connected to the guest bathroom
• Guest bathroom only has a shower. We would also like to include a urinal in addition to the toilet (if space allows).
• Kitchen. Small. NO CABINETS and no fixed or connected counters. Movable counters/Island are allowed. We’ll need a pantry large enough to store our dry goods, dishes, and cooking equipment. Needs room for a range, dishwasher and medium sized refrigerator.
• Great room will be where entertaining and dining occurs. This is the heart of the house and where most of our time will be spent. Either a wood burning stove or fireplace is required. Fireplace design will need to be effective for heating, not just ambiance.
• Office – only need enough space for a desk and filing cabinets; maybe a very small closet. This is not a sleeping chamber.
• Utility room – needs to have a counter for folding clothes and preferably close to the master bedroom.
The property is located outside of New Braunfels, Texas. The summers can be brutally hot and somewhat humid. The winters are typically mild. Snow is very rare; although we will get a few icy days during the winter. Lat and Long is approximately 29.763309,-98.083840. The property is bound on 3 sides by residential housing and by a public roadway on the northeastern side.