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HOUZZ.COM : Great Compositions: The Dogtrot House

The dogtrot house is one of the most iconic forms or domestic vernacular architecture in the Southern U.S. It's lineage can be traced to the one-room square log cabins along the hills of Appalachia. As family life and functional needs expanded, the farmer simply added another cabin and connected the two with a common sheltering roof. And, when the old dog was too hot to trot, as they say, the covered breezeway was the perfect escape from the region's engulfing heat and humidity. Thus, the name "dogtrot" was born to describe a new form of domestic architecture forever linked to the South.

(The writer) grew up in the rural Piedmont of the Carolinas, so scenes of... dog trots were the everyday architecture of my childhood. They were humble, poetic, and simply beautiful, without pretense, A very functional need was provided for with the simplest of means, and that is the essential lesson. Architect's so rarely succeed in making buildings as well placed and beautiful as the vernacular structures left behind by frontiersmen and farmers. Today, a few architects have found ways to reinterpret these forms for modern living by opening up the central room to the landscape and breezes."

This single-story board-and-batten ranch house (by Mike Connell, Architect) appears typical at first glance, but the breezeway frames the view of a mountain canyon. The view can be enjoyed under an open beam roof with a skylight. The narrow long table extends the eye outward... converging at a distant point in space."

DESIGN: Michael Connell Architect, San Francisco (415/640-4905)