by Maggie Flickinger
What does Google Earth make of homes designed by BARRETT STUDIO architects? While creating a custom Google map for a springtime Barrett Studio Homes biking tour, we got excited about seeing our finished homes from this previously inaccessible (unless you have a pilot friend or a fancy UAV) vantage point. In this first edition of the Barrett Studio from Above series, Google’s satellites & airplanes spy daring biomorphic forms that mirror shifting geology and geometric arrangements with sacred roots. In several instances, there’s an uncanny resemblance between the finished home as shot from above the earth and the study model as shot from above the drafting table.
A fuzzy shot caught a mysterious radial UFO touching down in a fan on the rolling Wyoming hills, while in neighboring Montana, a vesica pisces vessel evocative of a fall leaf settles lightly.
Google also spies simple elegance in the deliberate repetition of square pavilions, and more complex clusters inspired by clues from agricultural & mining vernacular.
While architecture is experienced in 3D, studying the procession of spaces, organization of forms, unifying elements, and contextual clues in plan view early in the design process helps architects to inform that 3D experience in a way that palpably resonates. Seeing the results of this study in Google Maps often reveals the inspiration or “big idea” behind a home’s design: tying elements together to elicit a “can’t quite put my finger on it” feeling of unity and belonging as you live in the home. Next time you’re up high, peek out the airplane window or down valley to the town below and see what all those roofs tell you about the order within – what goes on there.
And, keep an eye out: next up in the Barrett Studio from Above series: Neighborly Neighbors!