NEON Architecture, come check it out.

For all of you out there following urbanhomeINDY, it’s time for you to check out the newly launched neonarchitecture.com. NEON Architecture is our new venture and we thought it makes sense for us to transition the blog to the new site. We are super excited about NEON and what we will be bringing to the Indianapolis area. The new site is where you will find all things related to 955 Hosbrook and all of our future projects (we’ve got a few good ones in the works that you all are going to want to watch go up).

Thanks so much for following urbanhomeINDY. It has been quite a great run and afforded me the opportunity to connect with a lot of really great people. While it’s a new home, you will find more of the same construction updates and design discussions on NEON that you have come to know on urbanhomeINDY.

NEON_Full-ColorEveryone should also follow us on our various social media platforms:

Instagram:     NEON Architecture

Facebook:      NEON Architecture

Twitter:          NEON Architecture

Thanks to everyone who has followed this blog. As you know, it’s been quite an adventure getting to this point, but the fun is really just beginning.

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Casework Elevation

Here is the current proposed elevation of the continuous line of casework along the west interior wall of the house. As you can see, this wall serves many of the functions of the house, including: coat closet, pantry, kitchen, tv/entertainment, computer and desk workspace, mudroom storage off garage entry, wardrobe closet, laundry, bookcases and shelving, and built-in window seat.

Interior Elevation

New Lot Location

As you may or may not remember, I had previously mentioned I was in the process of purchasing a vacant lot on Lexington Street in Fountain Square. After unforeseen circumstances involving existing unpaid demo fees on that lot, the brokerage firm was unable to sell the lot. As a result of this, I was forced to move on and continue the search for a suitable lot for my own house in Fountain Square.

This search for a vacant piece of property in Fountain Square has not necessarily been an easy one. Vacant lots on the open market are few and far between, so I’ve found it takes a little more digging and determination to find a piece of property. Alas, I have discovered my lot (a fantastic one…I might add), and the quest to build my own home continues.

The new lot location is on the west end of Hosbrook (955 Hosbrook) and is quite unique to Indianapolis (not 100% unique to Fountain Square though). Why is it unique? Simply put, it’s 1600 square feet. Yes, 1600 square feet for the entire lot (it seems many of the homes built today have a footprint of 1600 square feet, let alone the entire lot being this size).

955 Hosbrook

955 Hosbrook - Close

Now, you may be wondering why I would be so interested and committed to building on such a small piece of property, but really, there are plenty of reasons to justify the lot.

The location is great.

The property shares an alley with the north side of Virginia Ave, meaning I am adjacent to the main commercial drag in the neighborhood. This means quick access to restaurants, bars, art galleries, the cultural trail, etc. I think you get it. All of the reasons Fountain Square is so great. It’s a completely walkable neighborhood, and this lot takes full advantage of this fact.

The view is great.

Because of the wonderful introduction of the interstate system through downtown Indianapolis (this is obviously sarcasm here), This property ends up with an uninterrupted view of downtown Indy (not dissimilar from the Shelby Street house). Further, you get nice views up Virginia Ave into Fletcher Place and Holy Rosary as well.

(Google Street View will have to do for the moment)

(Google Street View will have to do for the moment)

The neighborhood is great.

Fountain Square is definitely on the upswing, the residential areas are no different. This lot on Hosbrook actually sits within the small hood known as North Square. It’s a really great location as North Square has a small but active neighborhood association and has a great mix of people in the neighborhood. Also, it’s great to see the mix of architectural styles in the neighborhood and openness to new and contemporary ideas about home design.

The lot essentially forces the belief in house size and scale.

To me, this is by far the number one reason I love this lot. It’s a 20 foot wide lot (give or take a couple feet…waiting on the official survey), something not often seen in the flat and sprawling city of Indianapolis. Fountain Square, however, has a much higher concentration of these 20′ lots than most other parts of the city. Much of Fountain Square developed as a more working class neighborhood, resulting in much more modest homes, and often modest meant smaller in scale. As a result, the shotgun house typology was one often turned to for new homes in the neighborhood, and these were most often built on 20′ lots.

Further, not only is the lot narrow, it’s shallow (less than 80′ deep). Because of the way the street grid works, with Virginia being one of the four spokes out from Monument Circle, you end up this narrowing condition as one moves west along Hosbrook Street, each lot becoming shallower and shallower. This lot being at the west end of the street, is one of the shallowest lots on the street, and probably within the entire neighborhood.

I actually love these constraints. I often find the constraints open up new ways of thinking about design. They force us into a set of parameters, and these parameters are foreign to our typical day to day design processes. As a result, the design will necessarily be specific to its location and given condition, and will take advantage of these constraints (these constraints become opportunities to re-imagine the house and re-envision it).

It is my hope that with this house we can continue the discussion on how we live and how size factors into this. We have become so much a society built on material goods, constantly bombarded with advertising, products, electronics, etc. While I am not much different from the average person and often fascinated by many of these products, I want this house to be a testament to a smaller, more simple way of living, stripping the house of much of its unnecessary square footage and better understanding how to efficiently use space.

As you probably already guessed, I have been hard at work scheming away, and am definitely liking the direction the design is going. There are a number of factors at play with the design, beyond its site, including cost, materiality, form, scale, size, etc. As I continue to work through these schematics I will most definitely share these with you. Look for some plans in a few days (as I am almost set on their direction).

2013…

photo(6)d

Well…it’s the start of a new year.  Thanks to everyone who has followed this blog throughout 2012 and been a part of the crazy ride that is 701 Shelby.  It has definitely seen it’s share of ups and downs but it has most definitely all been worth it.

I apologize for the lack of posts for some time now…this will be remedied in 2013.  Here are a few quick updates on 701 Shelby:

  • Most work at 701 has been completed.  At this point, it is primarily furnishing and minor interior work to be done.  This has included the installation of the wardrobe closet, bathroom storage, sliding barn doors, window coverings, furniture, etc…A recap of the the house in general is due and will presented in the near future.
  • My brother, Patrick, has now moved into the house and has been living there for about a month.
  • In regards to interior furnishings…I will be featuring a few posts detailing a few of the furniture pieces in the house, as a couple of the pieces were done by myself and also the work of a few friends.
  • Interior Pictures will be posted as they become available…this has been somewhat delayed simply by the moving-in process and waiting for things to get to a more finished state.
  • Landscape work will not begin until spring breaks, but there will be much discussion on this as well…as it is a very important aspect of the home.  There has always been a strong intent to merge interior and exterior, nature and house.

As a result of the house being occupied, this blog will also slowly begin to evolve into more than just a blog about 701 Shelby.  It will delve into other design related topics, including the discussion and featuring of all things design related, with a focus on the local Indianapolis and Midwest community.

If you have suggestions on what you would like to see this blog bring in 2013, feel free to leave some comments.  This is a great opportunity to help shape the future of urbanhomeINDY and it’s direction and would be very valuable.  As the blog is titled, urbanhomeINDY, it seems fairly obvious that the blog should have a focus on things urban related, things home related, and things Indy related. This is what you will begin to see more of. Here are a few potentials for what might appear on urbanhomeINDY in 2013:

  • Design discussion/reviews of new architectural works in Indianapolis and the Midwest.
  • Discussion on residential design, inspiration, key projects worth seeing, etc.
  • Periodic featuring of local designers and their work
  • Discussion/calendar of design related events
  • Periodic analysis/discussion on existing urban conditions in Indianapolis and the Midwest and opportunities for unique interventions from both the architecture and design communities

Any thoughts or wishes???

Interior Painting

This past weekend we started to paint the interior of the house. We have opted to go with a warm white for the house, minus the master bedroom where a light green will be used. The white serves as a nice complement to the warm wood pallet ceiling and the concrete floor.

Additionally, as we have often mentioned, environmental responsibility is important to us and to the design. We chose a paint that met this desire, DuraSoy. DuraSoy is a bio-based paint paint that goes beyond just using low-voc or no-voc paint. It contains a rewewable resource material, recycled content, contains no V.O.C. and is low odor but still is a high performing paint. The most interesting thing to note is that because it contains very little water, it is extremely thick…the thickest paint I have worked with. However, it goes on smooth and we have been very happy with it so far.

Check it out.

Living Room

Loft

Stairway