Schematic Floor Plans

A client recently approached me with the request to create floor plans illustrating the expansion of her current home. The project is residential in nature, located in Independence, Missouri; and currently represents an eclectic mix of additions and improvements throughout the history of the one-story house. The expansion essentially extrudes the East facade 10ft0in into the back lawn. She had several criteria for her imagined residence.

1. Create a large Dining space, with a skylight above, for the purpose of entertaining her large family (specifically grandchildren). Utilize an open concept with a large, central island for the sink. 
2. Relocate the laundry appliances from the basement to the main living level. 
3. Expand the Master Bedroom, and include a walk-in closet. 
4. Reconfigure the floor levels into one, unified plane. There are currently several inconsistent changes in elevation; between the Kitchen and Living space, and Master Bedroom and Office area. 

The result is the following plans, which aim to communicate intent for building permits and construction contractors.

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Potato Vodka Conceptual Business Plan

PHASE ONE: Cultivation, Crop and Harvest


1. Introduction

This is a conceptual business plan created with the intent of distilling high-quality, potato vodka with local, sustainable interests. Phase One consists of purely agricultural aspects in planting, nurturing, maintaining and harvesting a potato crop; and Phase Two incorporates a potato stock as resource in fermentation, distillation, packaging and sale. Each potato used in the distillation process will be organically grown in a vernacular method. The annual model utilized will align with the local capacity of Nature and Summer. Utilizing this model, planting of potatoes will begin on the Last Frost Day (April 7, 2016), according to the Farmer's Almanac; or Good Friday (March 25, 2016), according to the Easter Holiday. A crop of potatoes will be farmed until August 15, 2016 at which point a bounty of potatoes will be harvested and stored indoors at an ideal temperature of 38°F. The distillation time begins on September 1 and endures through the Winter until the next planting season. The following facts and figures are for schematic purposes only, and aim to provide an accurate model based upon research into the distillation process. Further developmental experiments are necessary to ensure the expedited efficiency of such local process with quality, taste and value of utmost importance.

2. Production Target Goals

  • Year 1: 1,000 Bottles

  • Year 2: 1,618 Bottles

  • Year 3: 2,617 Bottles

  • Year 4: 4,234 Bottles

  • Year 5: 6,865 Bottles

    These figures utilize an annual production increase per The Golden Ratio.

3. Logistical Implementation

A) How many potatoes will one plant produce?

"A single plant will produce, at a minimum, three or four pounds of potatoes, and a single seed potato will produce four or five plants. If you plant the seed pieces a foot or so apart in a row, with a couple of feet of space on either side of the row, you will use about 25 square feet of garden space to produce about 20 pounds of potatoes."
NY Times; One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato ... More!
Cass Peterson, April 20, 1997

B) How many potatoes are needed for one bottle of vodka? 

Due Diligence in online research generates various quantities of potatoes required for distillation of 1 Vodka Liter. For this purpose, a generous approximation of 10 to 15 lbs of fresh potatoes is required per bottle of Vodka. 

C) How much land is required to grow a sustained crop for distilling activity?

Focus on the Year 1 Goal for 1,000 Bottles renders a total of 10,000 to 15,000 lbs of potatoes. If 20 lbs of potatoes require a space of 25ft², then the total amount of land required is 12,500 to 18,750 ft²; or 28.70% to 43.04% of an Acre. 

Looking forward to a Year 5 Goal of 6,865 Bottles, the total amount of land needed is 1.97 to 2.95 Acres; or about 1.5 to 2 American Football Fields. 

D) How many seed potatoes are required? 

"About 15 pounds of seed potatoes will be needed to plant a 100-foot row."
University of Missouri Extension; Frequently Asked Vegetable Questions
Lewis W. Jett, Department of Horticulture

"One pound of seed potatoes will plant a row approximately 8' long with seed pieces spaced at 8–12" apart. Plan on 1,200 lb/acre when rows are spaced 36" apart with 12" between plants. Under optimal conditions, you can expect to harvest 10–15 lb of potatoes for every pound of seed potato planted."
Grow; Seed Potatoes

Calculating the Year 1 Goal of 1,000 Bottles results in 344.4 to 516.48 lbs of seed potatoes, assuming that each mature plant yields 4lbs.


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Architect's Liscencing Process


In most states (jurisdictions), to become licensed, candidates must earn a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Master of Architecture: Accredited degree programs awarding the M. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 168 semester credit hours, of which 30 semester credit hours must be at the graduate level, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.


The Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture.

Aspiring architects must acquire 3,740 hours to satisfy the IDP experience requirement. One hour equals one hour of acceptable experience in an IDP experience setting. The online reporting system allows interns to document their experience directly.

The IDP application fee is $350 and is valid for three years. 


All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The examination is broken into seven divisions consisting of multiple choice and graphical questions.

a. Programming, Planning & Practice
b. Site Planning & Design
c. Building Design & Consultation Systems
d. Schematic Design
e. Structural Systems
f. Building Systems
g. Construction Documents & Services

The cost of the ARE (seven divisions) is $1,470; or $210 per division.


All jurisdictions require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. Each jurisdiction sets its own requirements for initial registration, examination, and corporate practice.

Eligibility Requirements by State

MISSOURI: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program and a portion of the IDP. The application fee is $100. 
NEBRASKA: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program and a portion of the IDP. The application fee is $150.
KANSAS: Completion of a NAAB-accredited degree program, IDP and a minimum of 5,600 professional hours. The application fee is $60.



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The Inferno

I did not dare descend to his level
But kept my head inclinded, as one who walks
in reverence meditating good and evil.
"What brings you here before your own last day?
What fortune or what destiny?" he began.
"And who is he that leads you this dark way?"
"Up there in the happy life I went astray
in a valley," I replied, "before I had reached
the fullness of my years. Only yesterday
at dawn I turned from it. This spirit showed
himself to me as I was turning back,
and guides me home again along this road."
And he: "Follow your star, for if in all
of the sweet life I saw one truth shine clearly,

you cannot miss your glorious arrival.
And had I lived to do what I meant to do,
I would have cheered and seconded your work,
observing Heaven so well disposed toward you.

But that ungrateful and malignant stock
that came down from Fiesole of old
and still smacks of the mountain and the rock,

for your good works will be your enemy.
And there is cause: the sweet fig is not meant
to bear its fruit beside the bitter sorb-tree."

Canto XV, Circle Seven: Round Three; The Violent Against Nature (43-58)
Dante Alighieri, 1320

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Dream House

This is the House I had a Dream about. I remember so vividly the context in which it was presented. Although fictional in character, it's set in my hometown; a couple blocks from the neighborhood in which I grew up. In my dream, the house is for sale by a prominent business person. She gave me a tour of the place, showed me her record collection and exterior porch. Although the bedroom is small in scale, the intent was to do most of the living in the large, central and multifunctional space. The built-in cabinets serve as a dresser and the dining is for entertaining. 
After I awoke, I set to immediately sketch the plan: 

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10 Architectural Spaces to Experience

A Top Ten List of buildings with location and architect

  1. THE THERME VALS; Graubünden, Switzerland
    Peter Zumthor, 1996

  2. CITE DE L'OCEAN ET DU SURF; Biarritz, France
    Steven Holl, 2005-2011

  3. VILLA SAVOYE; Poissy, France
    Le Corbusier, 1931

    Renzo Piano, 2015

  5. SAN FRANSCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART; San Francisco, California
    Snøhetta, 2016

  6. LeFRAK CENTER AT LAKESIDE; Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
    Tod Williams & Billie Tsien, 2013

    Davis Brody Bond with Snøhetta, 2014

  8. CAIXA FORUM MADRID; Madrid, Spain
    Herzog & de Meuron, 2001-2008

  9. PULITZER ARTS FOUNDATION; St. Louis, Missouri
    Tadao Ando, 2001

  10. THE PANTHEON; Rome, Italy
    Apollodorus of Damascus, 126


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