Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home Design Ideas - Split the Garage!

At Ron Brenner Architects, I am currently working with a client on a new home design to be constructed in Rochester, MN.  Here we have run into a very common dilemma.  What to do with 3 1/2 cars worth of garage?   

If you put all of that garage to the side of the house you get one very wide plan.  If you put all of that garage forward of the house you get one very deep plan.  Many lots cannot accommodate either one of those plan arrangements.  So what I have proposed to do here is to split the garages into two separate structures.  The main two car garage is directly connected to the house via the mudroom zone.  The additional 1 1/2 car garage is placed on the opposite side of the lot; resulting in a nifty little entry court.  See sketches below.

Here you can see a birds eye view of the layout.  Notice the roof between the garage and house is low.  This helps to reduce the mass of the house.  Pulling the garages a bit forward of the front porch creates a nifty little courtyard.

view from street

view approaching courtyard

nice little composition

So when you develop your next house plan - please think about the impact of that garage and look for creative solutions.


  1. That is definitely and interesting design, but I really like the courtyard idea. It works well I think, especially in that last picture.

  2. I love your blog and your website. Creative and informative. Wonder what you think of the books: "101 Things I Learned in Architecture School" (which I enjoyed this summer) and "New Compact Designs - 27 Award-Winning Plans 1,250 Square Feet or Less" (published by Storey Communications, and my all-time favorite architecture idea book). (NOTE: I'm a writer & a prof who sketches house plans for recreation ... and daydream of building our own home one day.)