This weekend we began the landscaping process. We started by tilling the entire lot. This is never an easy thing to do on an urban lot on which a structure previously sat. We encountered a lot of this:
However, we got the hang of the tiller pretty quickly and things progressed relatively smoothly, minus losing control of the tiller and having it crash into the house…not really…but it could have happened, right?
Although it is still just a dirt patch, it feels just a little closer to the real deal. After seeing the site as little more than a dried up dirt and gravel patch for such a long time, it’s rewarding to see us actually begin the landscaping process. We should have more news on plants, deck, and fencing this week. Stay tuned.
I thought I would share a few interior photos of how the space is shaping up. While it’s still not quite 100% yet, you can really get a good sense for the quality of the spaces.
As you can tell in the photos, one of the biggest drivers for the the space was access to natural light. While we couldn’t break the budget on windows and daylighting, we understand the role daylight plays in creating inviting interior environments.
We will share more interior photos after the finishing touches are put on and also will share exterior as landscaping begins to happen in the spring.
The plan is to design and build a house for myself. As Fountain Square is the up and coming urban neighborhood in Indianapolis, this is an exciting time to be building in the neighborhood. Further, you can see the proximity to 701 Shelby and begin to understand the impact these homes can begin to have on the neighborhood and its future direction.
I have a real passion for this neighborhood for many reasons, a few being: its proximity to downtown, the Virginia Ave commercial corridor, the scale of the lots and existing housing stock, the influx of the creative class, the history, the design freedoms and receptiveness to new housing typologies, and the energy and vibrancy, and the promising future the neighborhood holds.
1234 Lexington presents a different context from 701 Shelby. The lot is mid-block, a fairly narrow slot between two existing homes. As a result, the design response will be very different, but different in a good way. The existing conditions always inform the design process and often can become a key driver for the design of the project, and, often, I find the properties with the most geographic restrictions to be the ones with the opportunity for the most interesting design solutions.
So look for the development of this property to also become a strong focus of this blog, from the very beginning stages of design through construction. I look forward to sharing this experience with you and giving you a little more insight into process.
The lighting in the house is somewhat unique. We went with recessed LED can lights throughout most of the house and the cool thing about the lighting is the use of the Verve Living System. I’ve mentioned this system in previous posts but for those of you who aren’t familiar, essentially it is a lighting control system which allows for the introduction of wireless switches throughout the house. All of the fixtures are fed through 10 channel controllers which the wireless switches communicate with. The system gives you the flexibility to reprogram switches as often as you like, and also provides a master switch which allows for creating scene settings and then saving them. Additionally, as a part of the switch design, all of the lights are dimmable down to 5%.
As many of you may or may not know, 701 Shelby is on the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Indianapolis’ Architects’ Home Tour this year. The tour is this weekend, September 22nd & 23rd. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of the tour, as it often showcases some of the best new homes in the city. It’s always a great chance to get out a see a broad range of approaches and ideas as they relate to design.
Check out the Home Tour website where you can purchase tickets in advance and also get some more info on the homes on the tour:
As you might have also guessed, 701 Shelby will not be 100% completed by the tour. While we are disappointed by this and we have done everything in our power to push the developer and the builder, it’s just not going to be possible. We are, however, pushing for as much done as possible by the tour and will have the home in a presentable and show-worthy state. It’s such a great opportunity to be a part of the tour and have the opportunity to show the home to public that we didn’t want to pass it up…just might still be a little rough around the edges…which could be interesting, right??
The tour will be a great opportunity to come through the house and get some more information on various design ideas, materials, etc.
Here are few more photos showing recent progress on the house. Look for a lot of progress to happen in the next couple days (cross your fingers).