Stickley House Plans & Interiors
¶ The craftsman´s house: a practical application of our theories of home building in a three story home plan.
Stickley´s Craftsman Idea
¶ While all the houses illustrated in this book are of Craftsman design, the home shown here is perhaps the most complete example in existence of the Craftsman idea, for the reason that it is to be built by the founder and editor of "The Craftsman", Gustav Stickley, at Craftsman Farms, his estate in New Jersey, and will be used there as his own home. Therefore in this case the tastes of the designer are one with the tastes and needs of the owner, who has found no creative work more absorbingly delightful than this planning of a home which he intends to live in for the rest of his life. In addition to this it affords the opportunity for working out personally, in every practical detail, all the theories which have been applied to the houses of other people.
¶ Craftsman Farms was apparently planned by nature for the site of just such a house. It has heavily wooded hills, little wandering brooks, low lying meadows and plenty of garden and orchard land; and the house will be built on a natural terrace or plateau half way up the highest hill. The building faces toward the south overlooking the partially cleared hillside, which runs down to the orchard and meadows at the foot and which needs very little cultivation to develop it into a beautiful sloping greensward with here and there a clump of trees or a mass of shrubbery. There is a friendliness about tbe natural conformation of the land which makes it seem homelike before one stone is laid upon another or one bit of underbrush is cleared away, for the combination of sheltering hills and woods with a sheltered swale or meadowland gives interesting variety in the immediate surroundings, while the view of the whole country from the hilltop through the gaps in the surrounding hills does away with any sense of being shut in.
¶ In designing the house, the first essential naturally was that it should be suited exactly to the requirements of the life to be lived in it; the second, that it should harmonize with its environment; and the third, that it should be built, as far as possible, from the materials to be had right there on the ground and left as nearly as possible in the natural state. Therefore the foundation and lower walls of the building are of split field stone and boulders taken from the tumbledown stone fences and loose lying rocks on the hillsides. The timbers are cut from chestnut trees growing on the land, and the lines, proportions and color of the bnilding are designed with a special view to the contour of the ground upon which it stands and the background of trees which rises behind it.
¶ The hillside site, affording, as it does, well nigh perfect drainage, makes it possible to put into effect a favorite Craftsman theory, that a house should be built without a cellar and should, as nearly as possible, rest directly on the ground with no visible foundation to separate it from the soil and turf in which it should almost appear to have taken root. The house is protected against dampness by making the excavation for the foundation down to clear hard soil, filling it in partly with the smaller pieces of stone that were rejected from the walls and placing on this a thick layer of broken stone leveled off with an equally thick layer of Portland cement and concrete, making it level and smooth like a pavement. All of this foundation is drain tiled both inside and out. On the top of the cement floor is a double layer of damp proofing, which extends without a break up the wall, and a thick layer of tar and sand, in which the floor timbers are bedded. Another layer of waterproof paper covers this; and then comes the floor itself as completely protected from moisture as if it were on the top story of the building. The heating plant and laundry are provided for in a separate building and the stone storage vaults for vegetables and the like are sunk into the side of the hill.
¶ No effort has been made to give the appearance of a grade line, the ground being allowed to preserve its natural contour around the stone walls of the first story. The tipper walls are of plaster and half timber construction. The plaster is given a rough pebble dash finish and a tone of dull brownish green brushed off afterward so that the color effect varies with the irregularity of the surface. In each one of the large panels ultimately picture tiles will be set, symbolizing the different farm and village industries, for example, one will show the blacksmith at his forge another a woman spinning flax others will depict the sower, the plowman and such typical figures of farm life. These tiles will be very dull and rough in finish and colored with dark reds, greens. blues, dull yellows and other colors which harmonize with the tints of wood and stone.
¶ The timbers are not applied to the outside of the house for the purpose of ornamentation, but are a part of the actual construction, which is thus frankly revealed. They are peeled chestnut logs squared on either side and with the face left rounded in the natural shape of the tree, hewn a little here and there to keep the lines from being exaggerated in their unevenness. These timbers are stained to a grayish brown tone that, from a little distance, gives the same effect as the bark. The lines of the red-tiled roof are low and broad, with an overhang of four feet on the ends and three feet at the sides.
¶ The pergola is made of peeled cedar logs left in their natural shape and color, and the floor, which is almost on a level with the ground, is a dull red vitrified brick laid in herring bone pattern at right angles. Extending from the side of the house is a roofed pergola if such a thing may be for while the timbers and the flooring are those of a pergola, it has a tiled roof like that of the house. This is not a part of the construction proper, but is merely the expression of an individual fancy for an outdoor dining room and a sort of camp cooking place. At the end is built an outdoor fireplace and a big rough chimney. The detail of this fireplace, with its hobs, crane, and two brick ovens, is given in the above picture.
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