“The twilight was blurred and soft. Supper was almost ready and the smell of cabbage floated to them from the open hall. All of them were together except Hazel, who had not come home from work, and Etta, who still lay sick in bed. Their Dad leaned back in the chair with his sock-feet on the bannisters. Bill was on the steps with the kids. Their Mama sat on the swing fanning herself with the newspaper. Across the street a girl in the neighborhood skated up and down the sidewalk on one roller skate. The lights on the block were just beginning to be turned on, and far away a man was calling someone.”
– Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The front porch is an icon of the traditional American home, evoking images of rocking chairs and porch swings, lemonade and flower pots. It is a place of cool breezes, shaded leisure, and neighborly greetings. It is the liminal space between home and street, indoors and outdoors, private and public, but beyond a simple threshold of ephemeral passages, the front porch invites lingering. It is a place where nothing much occurs, but all of life is experienced.
The front porch is also a feature of sustainability, becoming popular as a passively cooled space before the advent of air conditioning. Large overhangs provide shelter from the sun in the summer, but allow passive heating by low-lying sun angles through the winter time. Typically open on three sides and surrounded by greenery, the front porch is cooled by fresh breezes and adorned with the natural view of the front yard and neighborhood.
Front Porch Design Studio strives to capture the essence of the front porch in its design approach. What makes a place meaningful? How can our buildings welcome you to visit and provide a beautiful and functional milieu for interaction, contemplation, and inhabitation? What features and materials can be integrated into the building design to allow for efficient and conscientious use of resources?
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