Day 12 – 3rd June – Quarantine Room Design Notes – Graphic Design

Hardly ever given a glance, but the most important sign in a hotel room is the one detailing where the nearest exit is in the event of an emergency.

Clear with big, easy-to-read fonts, and uncluttered with just the essential info.

I don’t think most people bother to read the evacuation plan, but if they’re scrambling to do so because the fire alarm had just been set off and had jolted them into shock and panic, the information offered here can be absorbed quickly and easily thanks to its clear and straightforward display.

Digressing a bit. I like to look at layout plans, having an interest in interior design. Here I can see that Units 9 and 10 are the most spacious and look to have a separate sitting area. Nice. And some units at the end of each wing are probably the smallest but possibly with more windows which could mean better views.

Moving on to the safe, it’s great that the instructions on how to use it are succinct with such few words.

The only thing I would change is to put the ‘leave safe open when checking out‘ sign on the outside of the safe door too, to better remind the departing guests. I have read of previous hotel guests leaving safes closed and therefore locked, causing an inconvenience to the next guest and the staff.

The bathroom, while still featuring sparse minimalist graphic design, offers a bit more variety in colour and mood courtesy of the amenities.

Same for this shock of red from this sign and cutlery holder. Also, the lightly cursive and handwriting style of the font is almost whimsical and a friendly wink in a room of mainly simple black and white signs.

Two of the utilitarian signs below:

Day 4 – 26th May – Quarantine Room Design Notes – Bathroom Wall Finishes

I was impressed to see Bianco Carrara marble in the bathroom of a decidedly non-luxe hotel room. Then I quickly realized upon touching it that it was a synthetic veneer of some sort. 😹Had me fooled!😹 But it’s beautiful. Bright, fresh, clean, and modern.

Curiosity had me Googling it, and I was intrigued by what I found. Obviously waterproof for it to be in the bathroom, this panelling comes in a range of marble finishes. Some nice, some some not so nice. I think a factor why the one in this bathroom looks good and effective is because of its low sheen. A high gloss or too distinctive a vein ‘pattern’ might make it look somewhat gaudy and less convincing.

They also come in a range of concrete finish designs, for example the panel installed in the shower, shown in the photo above and two other photos below.

The ‘concrete’ and ‘marble’ selected here go surprisingly well together, I think. It also dials down the posh factor a notch (let’s pretend the Carrara marble is real) to cleverly tie in to the theme of shabby chic lite out in the bedroom.

And it goes soothingly well with the tile selected for the bathroom floor.

I take a bad picture. The floor tile is a truer grey than this, I must had let it take in some of the warm light from the bedroom for it to look more brown.

Flood-resistant and wheelchair-accessible house

*Update 28th December: Using the cool ‘scenes’ function in SketchUp gave me the idea to make a YouTube video about this house. 🙂 The lovely music is ‘Beyond’ by Patrick Patrikios, from YouTube Audio Library.

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After drawing out a wheelchair-accessible house in previous posts like this one, I couldn’t stop thinking about drawing a flood-resistant version. In this case it simply meant elevating the house to a raised platform. As for access for wheelchair users, I decided to incorporate a residential cargo lift, also known as a platform lift or porch lift.

This is what I came up with. Click to enlarge.

Dimensions:

  • House structure only, excluding stairs, porch, lift and balcony extension: length 15 metres (49.2 ft), width 4.7 metres (15.4 ft)
  • A further width of 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) to cover stairs, porch and lift.
  • So, for the total floor area it’s 15m (49.2 ft) x 6.5m (21.3 ft). That’s an area of 97.5m2 (1050 ft2)

Besides being flood-resistant, four other features I’ve incorporated are:

Let’s face it, the last one is not just for wheelchair users but for the rest of us as well, and not just when lugging home heavy groceries! 🙂

Layout of First Floor

First floor Plan. The circles indicate diameter of 1.5 metres, space for turning of wheelchair.

A closer look on the rooms on the first floor. Click to enlarge.

Layout of Rooftop

The Rooftop Plans below feature the location of the rainwater tank, raised-bed vegetable garden and the pavilion with solar panels fitted on its roof. Click to enlarge.

The rooftop is accessible to wheelchair users with the lift. It also features sitting and dining areas, plus cooking appliances, in short perfect for parties or just relaxing. Just rearrange the furniture and add more chairs as needed, and don’t forget the barbeque grill! The kitchen counter and dining table can double up as counter space for gardening work.

Internal layout of wheelchair-accessible house

A couple of months ago I decided to try designing a wheelchair-accessible Small House using SketchUp, the 3D design software. I posted about it here in WordPress. I did both a single-storey version, sized 83 sq.metres (about 890 ft2) and a double-storey one. This post is about the internal layout of the double-storey one, featuring 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. As I wrote in the previous post:

Why a Wheelchair-Accessible House?

  • I think that if one builds a house, might as well make the layout and size of rooms wheelchair-friendly to make it more inclusive.
  • Even if there are no wheelchair users in the household, the extra space incorporated will be appreciated.
  • In the meantime, the extra space can be configured to different needs.

As for the size, I started off drawing a single-storey Small House, which is a residential structure that is considered to be up to about 1,000 ft2 (93m2), as featured in the previous post. The double-storey house featured here is about 160 m2, so it’s not considered ‘Small House’. To recap, in any case:

Why a Small House and not Tiny House?

  • Tiny Houses are up to 400 ft2 (37 m2), too small to accommodate the usage of a wheelchair comfortably.
  • Small Houses, bigger at between 400 ft2 and 1,000 ft2 (93 m2), would also offer the amenities of a typical house, like a ‘more regular-sized’ kitchen and bathroom.
  • The single-storey version of the house featured here would be 90 m2 (about 970 ft2). This includes the ramp outside. An additional small single bedroom or study can also be added where the stairs would be in the double-storey house.

I did a double-storey version for additional bedrooms. I’m thinking that, even if the wheelchair user is single and lives alone, an extra bedroom might be useful or even necessary if he or she wants or needs a live-in carer.

I did not feature the internal layout in the previous post because I had arranged it using furniture and fittings from SketchUp’s wonderful 3D Warehouse. As I’m not sure about permission issues regarding featuring them in my post here, I decided to play it safe and draw my own furniture and fittings instead. Just some basic designs. It took me a long time, especially the kitchen appliances. An hour here, a few hours there, but I’ve finally done it.

First, some points on the changes to the external look of the house.

  • Windows and sliding doors were changed to look more Art Deco since that is what inspired the design of the house.
  • Ramp is now longer. With research I now know better about standards such as a 1:12 slope, for safer wheelchair use.
  • The above meant having to reduce the number of side access doors, from two to one.

Dimensions:

  • House structure only, without ramp: length 15 metres (49.2 ft), width 4.7 metres (15.4 ft)
  • Ramp and its top landing deck: width 1.3 metres (4.2 ft)
  • Pool Module (pool, decks and planter): total length 14.5 metres (47.5 ft), width 3.6 metres (11.8 ft)
  • Pool only: length 8 metres. (26.2 ft)

Ground Floor

The ground floor consists of a double bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and kitchen.

Plan View of Ground Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right). The circles in the Plan View above indicate diameter of 1.5 metres (59 inches), space for a wheelchair to turn.

Here is a closer look at the ground floor which is wheelchair-accessible:

Double bedroom for the wheelchair user (and partner). There is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk.
Bathroom. The white rectangle in the shower area is a collapsible seat.
Sitting area.
Kitchen with dining table next to the sitting area. The space below the sink and stove is made void to serve wheelchair users. Among other things, the height of the fridge and microwave oven is factored in for wheelchair users. 
The kitchen, dining table and sitting area all look out to part of the Pool Module where outdoor dining can be located. These sliding doors also serve as the access point for wheelchair users.

Upper Floor

The upper floor consists of two bedrooms, both with ensuite bathrooms as well as balconies overlooking the Pool Module below.

Plan View of Upper Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right).
Master bedroom. As with the bedroom directly below, there is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk. This room also has a second balcony which is directly above the front door of the house.
Ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom. Instead of the cabinets on the right, there can be space for a bidet. Or, instead of the bidet, put the toilet bowl closer to the wall and trade the shower for a bathtub.
The other upper floor bedroom, with a small ensuite bathroom. There is space in front of the bed for a sofa or chaise lounge, and a writing desk beside the sliding doors of the balcony.

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It’s been very interesting doing this. For the next house, also with Small House proportions, I’ve set my mind to drawing a flood-proof house, what with global warming, rising sea levels and the increasing incidents of hurricanes.