Part 1 – Wolf Residence, Milwaukee

Part 1 – Wolf Residence, Milwaukee (PDF)
Part 1 – Wolf Residence, Milwaukee (JPEG)
Part 1 – Wolf Residence, Milwaukee (Demo)
Part 1 – Wolf Residence, Milwaukee (Full Symbol Library)

  • Paul C

    Hi John,
    In addition to your guidance and depending on how in-depth folks wish to pursue things, the following link provides additional resources re: accessibility

  • John Brown

    Thanks for the reference.

    Remember everyone that it is not necessary to get too involved with the accessibility issues. As we are dealing with a preliminary concept design the two main issues to focus on are door width – 3′ min. and the 60″ circle for wheelchair maneovering.

  • Paul C

    Appreciating that you don’t wish to dive to deep into the accessibility minutia, if I could make one more suggestion, would it be worthwhile to update the symbol library for this one to include the 1.5m (5ft) wheelchair circle. It might be helpful.

  • Doug Roberts


    Replacing the half bath with a second full bathroom while making the living space and all bedrooms and bathrooms wheelchair accessible was very challenging. I found that I needed to take over the old hallway space to get enough room to fit everything in, so I moved the washer and dryer from the north side of the hot water heater to the south side to create a larger opening from the entry to the living space. I was not able to create as much closet space for the master bedroom as I would have liked, but I did the best I could. I avoided walk-in closets as they would be difficult to make wheelchair accessible without making them excessively large. As the client indicated that they wanted regular kitchen counters I went with an L-shaped kitchen with an island, which would likely need to be changed if and when full wheelchair access is needed.

  • Terri


    Guess I’m first this time. I found this difficult, not just because of the wheelchair accessibility. I tried a few different ways of dividing the living/dining/kitchen side and am still not happy. The placement of the laundry/hw cupboard beside the sliding door to the courtyard is a problem. Also having the fireplace so near to the sliding door to the deck created difficulties with access/furniture etc.

    My plan relies on some great millwork to separate the kitchen and living without cutting out all the light. I’ve also indicated glass inserts along the central wall. Wish I could provide a precedent…Louis, can you help? :)

  • Terri

    Doug, I see your post was before mine but didn’t show up when I accessed…interesting solution you’ve got there. I just have one question: how did you find 3 ft of area between the laundry closet and that front northeast kitchen corner? According to my measure, it was less that 3 ft., which caused me considerable grief!

  • Terri

    Sorry, Doug, I missed your explanation about moving the laundry.

  • Doug Roberts

    Hi Terri — John told us that we could not move the hot water heater, but he did not say anything about moving the washer and dryer. Accordingly, I kept the hot water heater in the same spot, but “flipped” the closet around so that the washer and dryer are now to the right (south) of the hot water heater, which added approximately 4 feet to the opening between the entry and the kitchen.

  • Paul C


    I kept the spaces pretty much where they exist with alterations to accommodate a wheelchair as well as open up the plan. The interior hall opens up as it gets near the dining/living area yet still provides a little formality to the plan. The walls along the corridor could be used for art display.

  • Steve

    Some nice solutions for the long, dark, central hallway:
    1. Doug eliminated it completely and freed up much needed space (downside – first view is into the bathroom, and main entry is through the kitchen).
    2. Terri moved up the living room entry to mid-hall and inserted interior windows for more light.
    3. Paul opened the hall to open shelving (?) and – my fav – removed the wall to the study for an unimpeded view the front door. The hallway appears longer, but the view is now outside rather than of a door in a blank wall.
    All interesting ideas!

  • Paul C


    Running with Doug’s idea of no internal hallway, I tried this. I also wanted to see what would happen if the kitchen was centralized such that the dining space could access natural light, albeit northern light in this case.

    Maybe taking this notion a little further one could size the spaces on either side of the kitchen equitably such that depending on taste, mood or time of year, it would be possible to flip the living with the dining and vice versa. Also, the laundry is now in a room as opposed to a closet. Not sure if the open corner on the study still makes sense but kept it in all the same.

  • Doug Roberts


    Paul — I just refreshed my browser before posting this and see that I seem to be on a similar wavelength to you. After looking at your and Terry’s postings and Steve’s comments about my initial posting I decided to make a few revisions, including:
    1) incorporating your sliding walls idea to open up the den, which I really like;
    2) flipping my guest bathroom around so that guests don’t look straight into the bathroom when they come in the front door; and
    3) like you, moving the kitchen into the middle of the living space using a 2-island concept.

    I look forward to seeing what John comes up with tomorrow.

  • Terri

    Paul and Doug,
    I like the central kitchen idea a lot. And getting rid of the hallway is great. I think making a room out of the laundry closet is also a great improvement, Paul. What if the door into it were on the south side of the room where that closet is now? The closet could go where the desk is in the kitchen (though the desk is a nice touch too). I’m just thinking that it’d be nice to have access to that laundry away from the main living areas…

  • Terri


    Here’s my attempt at removing the central hall by moving the washer and dryer. Access to laundry can be from master bath or side hall.

  • Anonymous


    A 5′ turning radius is provided in the front entry, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, guest bedroom and guest bath. All doorways and halls are a minimum of 3′.

    The laundry has been moved to the master suite as a stackable washer/dryer. This allows the water heater closet to be made smaller improving access into the kitchen/dining/living area. This is important because the main hall has been removed in favour of larger bathrooms. Traffic flows from the front entry into the kitchen and thru to the livng room, study and master bedroom.

    The study is entered directly from the living room thru a retractable glass panel door. The idea is to capture as much light as possible from the study yet provide privacy as desired.

    The kitchen/dining/living area is much the same as in an earlier submission from PaulC. No sense reinventing his nice arrangement – thanks PaulC.

  • BradW

    Sorry…the previous anonymous submission is from me.

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    I love the discussion and refinement today.
    A single couple might be able to get away with a combination washer dryer unit.
    I think a white light shelf on the south windows of the living room would help to push some light into the depths of the room too.
    When I saw the program this morning I had hopes of doing a proposal today, but it is too late to start that. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Paul C

    Very busy today and as such I was unable to get in on the discussion portion as much as I would have liked. Thank you very much to all for the comments.

    I liked the approach you took with the bedroom closets and the compact nature of your bathrooms while still maintaining accessibility. The result being larger bedroom spaces. Interesting, or maybe spooky, how two individuals working in “isolation” can arrive at a very similar concept. (i.e. center kitchen)

    I agree with respect to laundry/utility accesses in relation to “living” spaces. Never the best solution. I think this would be one of those “trade-off” decisions. I very much like the direct access from the master bath you’ve shown so I think it would be a tough choice. I like in your first submission how you managed to get both the living and dining adjacent to the southern windows. I found that in that area of the plan there seemed to be an abundance of space and so this could be an alternative.

    Relocating the laundry is a great idea. I wonder if having the access to the equipment from the WIC might be an option. The entry into the study is also another great alternative. I think it provides more wall space for shelving as you have shown and helps to further expand the feeling of openness into the living room.

    One thing, that unfortunately due to time, I don’t think I pursued enough was the fact of the periodic 3rd resident (i.e. the grandchild) and their needs.
    I too, am looking forward to see John’s take on this one.

  • Louis Pereira

    John – You had me at ‘Garden Courtyard’! What a great residence this is (and can be), based on the designs to date.

    Excellent submissions and discussion from everyone today. I likely won’t have time to contribute to the design project this week but hope to follow the discussion in part2. I’m also looking forward to John’s re-design.

  • Steve


    I liked the orignal program of guest bedroom in the front and primary bedroom in the back, but I also wondered if the full width of the southern park-view could be opened to living area. I think this works, plus it gives the primary bedroom much more space. And rather than diminish the central hall, I made it shorter and wider (5′) and gave it a vista to make it feel like a narrow room rather than a passageway.

    In lieu of a separate study, this plan provides a sunny reading corner, storage and display space in the corridor, and a wall for books and a desk in the living room.

    Lastly, all rooms except the guest bath accommodate the 5′ turning diameter for a wheelchair. In all cases I used pocket doors to get them out of the way. The guest bath is accessible from both the guest bedroom and kitchen.

    John has already posted his design, so I’m off to take a peek. I post late but haven’t cheated. :)

  • Grace

    Great discussion on Slow Home today. Steve–I love your total rethinking of the plan and how it highlights the staggered windows at the rear.