Part 1 – Mendoza Residence, Maryland

Mendoza residence, Maryland (PDF)
Mendoza residence, Maryland (JPEG)
Mendoza residence, Maryland (Full Symbol Library)

  • John Y

    I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about this before I really get cracking at all.

    But in the meantime I want to point out an article from Dwell some time ago, in which the architects managed to take a loft with 12′ ceilings and, while not putting in a true second floor, managed two-level living in (I think) a creative way.

  • BradW

    Great project! Unfortunately, John threw a curve ball when he said the space can be divided – this opens a host of real estate development and marketing issues.

    Anyway the main issue I have is the scale of the drawing does not match the scale of the symbol library – another curve ball and a big hassle.

  • SaneOne

    There will not be “morning” light coming through the west windows.

  • Elizabeth


    Hope I’m not misinterpreting John’s statement, but I thought he meant that this is one unit. We can put in as many or few bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, walls, etc. as we wish.

    But I didn’t think he meant sub-dividing this into two or more units was an option. John?

  • BradW

    Elizabeth – I think he meant sub-divide…listen again at 0:50+. “One 1480sq ft unit or two 700+ sq ft…”.

  • Terri

    I think when John says “unit” he means an individual apartment, separate from other “units.” So I agree with Brad’s interpretation. Maybe it’s open-ended enough, though, that you could decide differently, Elizabeth.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh OK. I knew I should have listened again before putting my oar in!

  • Paul C


    Usually I am closer to last…anyways here’s my take. I decided to run with one home.

    Last night I was fortunate to catch a CBC radio interview with architect Moshe Safdie. Part of his description of his first commission, “Habitat” for Expo 67, resonated with me and to some extent, this proposal is the result, in particular the incorporation of an outdoor room/space in an urban building form.

  • BradW

    Paul C – The indoor/outdoor space is a stunning idea.

  • Paul C

    Thank you very much Brad W. Obviously there would be a host of details to resolve but I think the idea of providing a connection to the outdoors has a lot of merit.

  • John Y

    That’s some good stuff, Paul. I’m loving that.

  • Louis Pereira

    Paul – That’s really thinking outside the box. Welll done!

  • Louis Pereira


    While i really like Paul’s concept, i chose to explore the prospect of developing two suites. At approx. 750 sq.ft. each, the units are still marketable. I was able to develop two almost identical layouts, with the mechanical and venting systems at the core of the space for efficiency. By mirroring the floorplan, this enables you to repeat millwork details, kitchen and Washroom layouts while the flexbility is provided in the finishes.

  • Louis Pereira


    Curse you BMPs! Let’s try that again with a JPG…

  • jim baer


    i also pursued two units of similar, mirrored plans. though mine seems to be more “developer” than louis’. i will have to work on my custom designs / detailing.

  • Terri

    Paul C,
    Very nice plan. Love the windows in the master bathroom–a rare thing for a condo.


    Your study area is a great use of that corner. I like the idea of twin units. Nicely executed.

    Jim Baer,

    You’ve also done a great job of twinning the units (my clumsy phrasing). I was headed in that direction too. And I was doing a very similar layout to yours on the West side.

    I just wasn’t feeling like I was inspired enough to continue. Good to see that some people can see an idea through!

  • Paul C

    Thanks for the feedback John Y and Louis.

    Louis, nice plans. One of the features I especially like ,(subject to how the lighting is done) is the inherent flexibility within the “living/dining/study” spaces. Depending on circumstance the homeowner could alter the furniture to suit. Subject to the details, the study/wall bed could also incorporate an entertainment component for flexibility.

    Jim B, I like how the interior spaces in your layouts tend to be wider which help offset their distance from the “front” window wall(s). As well both entries are generous in size. Nice layouts.

    One thing I did NOT have time to explore was the 12 foot height element. I have a feeling that maybe, it could play a significant role.

  • James Scott

    Great plans everyone, as mentioned before Paul C the outdoor room is awesome.

    Regarding the mirroring of the plans, I once lived in a condo where the bedrooms from the two units met at the headboard. It may not be avoidable, but the couple in the other suite where quite, how should I say this, active.

    I suppose if you’re a developer that may not be of concern, but if one were to develop one unit for sale/rent and the other for personal living that may be important.

  • Jim Argeropoulos


    I was listing to By Design on the way to my mountain bike ride today. The guest talked about problems with tall residentual buildings (This is like not one) One of the issues was lack of interaction with other residents. It triggerd an idea for me.

    I got back and checked out the submissions for the day and see that Paul has nearly the same idea. I didn’t have time to do more than just quickly draw in my common patio idea. I wish I was as fast as Brad ;)

    I’d seen the Dwell article last week and I think that would make a great use of space. Plus the Chelsea case study used a similar idea for storage above the bathroom.