Boston architect Jeremiah Eck explains how massing—the interplay of a house's height, length, and width—determine its overall shape. It's not the easiest design element for clients to fully understand, but it is fundamental. In the simplest terms, massing is your house in 3-D. And unlike some design elements, there is a right way to achieve optimum massing. In this example, Jeremiah uses a lakeside cottage designed by Paul MacNeely to illustrate six massing principles:
1. Keep the shapes simple
2. Make a statement with the foundation
3. Don't overdo the roof
4. Design dormers with restraint
5. Integrate additions with the major house shapes
6. Use details where they make the most impact
Applying the six principles on the exterior can lead to some interesting interiors. Here Jeremiah describes how massing influences the interior spaces.