My apologies if the Sunset Breezehouse is already a forum topic.
Just wondering if anyone else went to see the Eichler-inspired Sunset Breezehouse in Menlo Park a couple of weekends ago and if so, what you thought of it.
I didn't go inside (line was 2-3 hours long!) but from what I saw on the outside and what I've read and seen online, it looks like a really well-designed house--much more so than anything that's been built recently in housing tracts.
Sunset admits that the Breezehouse is directly inspired by the Eichler atrium models:
It’s a reinvented, sustainably built, Gen-X version of the Eichler atrium house of the 1960s.”—Dan Gregory, Sunset Home Editor
Alas, I wish it truly was an uncovered atrium like in Eichler models but I understand that today's energy costs are much higher and an open-air design wouldn't have made as much economic sense.
I wish I could have viewed the house too. I have seen the plans online. In my fantasies, I thought that one day we could buy a piece of property and build such a house.
One major disappointment for me with the plan is that the door to the master bedroom is on a direct axis with the front door. So the first thing you see when entering the house is the master bedroom.
Also, on most of the Breezehouse plans, the kitchen is simply a counter along a back wall. So, when you are working in the kitchen, your back is to the rest of the house. In an Eichler, the cook has a command position. When working at the stove, the cook can see most, if not all of the house.
I do have to congratulate Michelle Kauffman and Sunset Magazine for their efforts at bringing modern design into the public eye.
We toured the Breeze House at Sunset two weekends ago. True to its name the Breeze house was very cool even though it did not have air conditioning. They incorporate a nana wall which is a wall of glass doors that opens like an accordian and a clerestory that opens in the front taking advantage of even a subtle breeze. The house stayed cool and it was a hot day.
We also heard Michelle Kaufmann speak at DWR last week. She has done a fantastic piece of work with the Breezehouse and I was impressed with her attention to livability issues and detail of the home. It's not inexpensive, however—in comparison to the Eichlers, even adjusting for inflation. The house itself is 160.00 per square foot but that doesn't include the land costs or site prep which can be considerable in the Bay Area. Also, it doesn't come with a garage but they said they can build one on site instead of pre-fab because its cheaper to do so.
Also, on most of the Breezehouse plans, the kitchen is simply a counter along a back wall. So, when you are working in the kitchen, your back is to the rest of the house. In an Eichler, the cook has a command position. When working at the stove, the cook can see most, if not all of the house..
I thought about that, too. I love the design of the Eichler kitchens but these days it seems like people eat out more cook at home much less often. So maybe a kitchen counter and range with a view of the rest of the house is not as desirable as it was in the 50s, 60s and 70s? Many people I know don't even sit down to eat together or if they do it's in front of the TV :( Is the omission of the dining room and breakfast nook the next step in modern design? Or maybe there should be a space on the wall for a flat panel TV facing the dining table? LOL
Also, it doesn't come with a garage but they said they can build one on site instead of pre-fab because its cheaper to do so.
HAHA almost everyone I know uses the garage for storage anyway!
Some people also use their garage for a workshop.
I saw the Breezehouse...and walked through the house at least twice!!!
I'm just put off by trying to find land, making sure that the city approves your plans, and the headache of construction. My cousin recently built a home in Mountain View. He told me that it took nearly a year for the city to approve the plans, due to nitpicky bureaucrats at the city office. However, after close to 2 years, an unplanned $32k in architectural fees, and several contractors, the house was completed.
Also, I don't know if I could bear the 11% rate for construction loans.
If you can change my mind about prefab home building, please speak up!
You lucky guys. I really wanted to go, but could not as I was on yet another business trip. This time to Las Vegas. Poor me.
I love the concept and Michelle's designs, as well as some of the others I have seen. Hubby and I have toyed with the idea of this kind of home for a retirement/vacation home way far from the Bay Area--say Arizona or Nevada. I don't think we would attempt to buy land in the Bay Area to build. Way too expensive, unless you already have the land. We were even looking at 2/1ba cabins in Ben Lomond as a vacation purchase option, but starting prices were $550K. I would rather get something we can pay cash - or at least a 50% down for. I don't want to take on any more payments, as we have become addicted to our very low payments - which are lower than what many appts. rent for these days.