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trapezoidal Shaped Layout

David B
16 days ago
last modified: 16 days ago

I"m about to build a house which has to be a trapezoidal shape, but am having problems with the layout - the Architects layout doesn't work for us, there isn't much flow an well we don't like it. Does anyone want to have a bash?

We would like kitchen and dining area split and some sort of office area. They layout is in German, so as a translation, Arbeit=office, Kochen/Essen=Kitchen Dining, Diele=Hall, Whonen=Living.

The narrow part is 5.15 meters wide, the larger part 7m and the length 14 m. North is at the Top and South at the bottom



Comments (53)

  • Jonathan
    16 days ago

    Before replanning you should consider:-
    Is this the only place in the plot the house can go?
    What is the reason for the house to be this shape? Is there another solution to whatever the problem is?
    Where are the best gardens and therefore where do you want principal rooms?
    Where’s the vehicular access and therefore does the principal door have to be in that position?
    What are the reasons to separate the kitchen and dining? (Because if the dining is a multi purpose space you might give it a better position than a dining room that is rarely used).

  • Jonathan
    16 days ago

    Also- what specifically don’t you like about the first plan? Personally I think the lounge feels too small but you might have entirely different views.

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  • David B
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    unfortunately this is the only layout on this plot we can have. The garden in the south is the sunniest spot which is why the lounge is in this area. We think we will remove the office and have larger kitchen diner which will give a more open space.

  • David B
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    as you say Jonathan the lounge is too small. The plot for the house has a large footprint, but the space makes it hard to arrange things efficiently.

  • Wumi
    16 days ago

    Are there restrictions at the front of the property that limit you squaring the building?


  • Jonathan
    16 days ago

    Personally I think you need longer sight lines to make the house feel bigger and less hallway would be a more efficient use of space.

    David B thanked Jonathan
  • Wumi
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I think the architects are leaning too much into the sloped wall making the other rooms awkward. How about something like this with a grand trapezoidal staircase with WC underneath?



    Or eek out a utility room?



    David B thanked Wumi
  • rinked
    16 days ago

    I'd look for another architect. This layout is not working at all, on many levels. Invest in a good plan before building.


    Post the second floor too, so people here can play with the layout. How many bedrooms should there be?

  • David B
    Original Author
    16 days ago

    thanks for the ideas, due to planning restrictions its hard to square the house without loosing too much space - but this may make the space more useable.


    here is the upstairs, which is also wrong, we only need 3 bedrooms, so the Gast Room wil go


  • Claire Bargna
    16 days ago

    What about moving the stairs to the opposite wall like this?



  • Wumi
    16 days ago






    An open staircase could make the hallway and landing feel less closed in.

  • Claire Bargna
    16 days ago

    I really like the open staircase but we will have a cellar as well, so the stairs need to go down as well as up


  • Jonathan
    16 days ago

    Upstairs to the plan I drew earlier

    David B thanked Jonathan
  • Claire Bargna
    16 days ago

    Thank you, great food for thought! I'll have a play around with your idea now.

  • christineacy
    16 days ago

    Hello, David, I cannot add to the what everyone else has suggested. But if you paid the architect to make your plans and they are not right he /she has to redo them. You are right it does not flow because all the internal walls are at different angles. And that will cost. Can I ask if the land has a building on it already? If not get some spray paint and draw up the plan just walls (roughly) on site. It will give you some perspective and able to adjust. Then you can get another colour to do any of the suggestions or combinations you like. Or just use the suggestions. If there is a building, but gutted you may still be able to adjust on site. Please do not build until you are happy, otherwise your costs will fly, then you will not enjoy what should be an amazing opportunity. All the best. I look forward to see what you decide. I am not an architect, but guys above might know of the 3D app that you can see onsite what the walls look like, or am I assuming it is a mega expensive piece of kit... ??????

  • Jonathan
    16 days ago

    On second thoughts is might be cost effective to keep these bathrooms together

  • Wumi
    15 days ago

    Could you access the cellar from the kitchen with the cellar staircase being in the same footprint as the ground floor staircase?



  • Claire Bargna
    15 days ago

    We really like your suggestions Jonathan. The only niggle is the main bathroom upstairs not being very central. I've moved it around a bit...


    Can you see any issues with it?

  • Claire Bargna
    15 days ago

    In theory you could go downstairs from the kitchen but we'd need a different staircase that would turn at the top.

  • Jonathan
    15 days ago

    I see no major issues with your plan although for me I prefer the bigger master bedroom I planned and the additional upstairs space earmarked for a laundry

  • Claire Bargna
    15 days ago

    Thanks again. We'll have a laundry in the cellar so that frees up space there.


    We're going back to the architect on Wednesday to go over it again but it's great to have lots of ideas so that we can understand what the alternatives are.

  • rinked
    15 days ago

    What's the plot layout? Where are the (deepest) gardens? Street?

  • Jonathan
    15 days ago

    If you are going to have a lower level laundry then consider making the ensuite the best bathroom in the house and giving the other two bedrooms a modest shower room each.

    David B thanked Jonathan
  • Wumi
    15 days ago

    Turning at the top of the 1st floor? I think you could get away with a straight run up to the 1st floor.


    Kids Room · More Info


    Kids Room · More Info


  • Claire Bargna
    15 days ago

    Thanks Wumi. I shall spend some time today giving those stairs a go. They certainly look nicer, although the stairs in our original plan are most common here (we're in Germany).


    Jonathan, I'm not sure the budget will stretch to 3 bathrooms but it's certainly worth thinking about! I'd love to squeeze a small office space in upstairs instead of downstairs really.


    rinked - we have 6m of garden to the north and the same to the south, only 3m along the east and west sides. The cars will park in the south east. We're set back from the street behind another house, kind of tricky to explain, but it's very private so no worries there.

  • David B
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    thanks, looks great

  • Wumi
    14 days ago

    Nice plan @rinked! Leaves space for an upstairs office.

  • Claire Bargna
    14 days ago

    Thank you rinked! Well, thanks everyone for taking an interest and spending so much time helping us! rinked, which software do you use to design the floorplans? It looks much cleaner than the one I'm using.


    I think we'd be tempted to swap the kitchen and dining area around, with a door to close the kitchen off. And I'm going to have a play around with

    upstairs, because in Germany the kids rooms are too small to be considered bedrooms!


  • rinked
    14 days ago

    I have a very old version of Chief Architect. Renderings look dreadful, but still great for floorplans!

  • rinked
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    @Claire Bargna such as this?

    Might also straighten the staircase wall, but I left the quirk. ;) (perhaps built in storage?)

    If you want to make the kids rooms slightly bigger (3.7x2.5m) you could sacrifice a piece of master bedroom, though not favorable. Kitchen in the back with a wall, though personally I'd like to be able to look into the north garden. I understand it is also nice to keep cooking fumes and messy kitchens somewhat out of the dining and lounge. (I liked my first floorplan better)


  • Claire Bargna
    13 days ago

    I really love the layout, thanks @rinked. I like the staircase wall as you've done it.

    I think we'd have to turn the stairs at the top, because on the ground floor we also need to go down into the cellar.

    Something that just occurred to me is that the exterior walls here are much thicker than in the UK (at least I think they are) - 37.5 cm. And the ceilings are 2.6m which has an impact on the length of the stairs. So I might have a look at changing some bits around to fit those specs. In Germany the minimum size for a bedroom is 10m2. So maybe we could have a smaller 7m2 office, or even just a space on the landing actually, and three good sized bedrooms instead..... The cellar will be the same size as the ground floor and we can have a guest room down there.

  • rinked
    13 days ago

    Architectural details should be adressed indeed. I simply drew in a 1x3.25m staircase, am no builder/architect, so no idea how long they should be. If height allows I wouldn't twist it.

    David B thanked rinked
  • christineacy
    13 days ago

    Hello all. Wow! David, Claire, the plants have moved on. rinked I like your first plan, as it gives the family options. By having the kitchen in the middle means that you have created the dinning area as a possible "private space". (When you are cooking you really do not look outside the window unless you have very young children. It also means you can easily get to the kitchen from the front door and to the dinning area and living room. These could be zoned off with sliding wall/doors rather than fixed wall and door where you will be missing the light from the windows and light coming through the house. Claire I understand what you saying about the mess... me too! But in your kitchen there should be an extractor fan and the design could incorporate a "dump the dishes area" and hurry back to watch the next episode of ..... where you cannot see them. In rinkd plan with the kitchen at the far end again I would consider sliding door/wall to zone off but can open up to. You will lose natural light to cupboards, pantry etc. But also have a door from the kitchen to the outside. I know it is an example but do not have the door entrance opposite an oven, stove... but there is a breakfast area, which could be built in with a breakfast table. Then the dinning area can be for more formal meals and home work, etc. Let us know what the architect says on Wednesday. Keep going and hold your ground. Excuse the bad pun!

  • Claire Bargna
    12 days ago

    @christinacy, thank you very much for your comments! I agree withthe sliding doors to section the house off. And whilst I love the idea of the kitchen in the middle I know it would just be a dumping ground, if I'm honest!


    I've just created another design with the stairs against the west wall. Do you think it would block too much light to have them there? We'd have a window to let light through, if possible





  • Jonathan
    12 days ago

    Personally I don’t like that the stairs cut the house in half here

  • Jonathan
    12 days ago

    Alternative based on Rinkeds design

  • christineacy
    12 days ago

    Hello Claire. Re: In your plan, stairs placement. It depends on what is behind you on the west side with regards to the light. You can get full house height or 2 full floor to ceiling windows that would help with light. But yes I agree with Jonathan it cuts the house in half and you loose space. The front door area, you are walking into a box, unless you use glass panels. Depending on how the stairs is orientated and its pitch, you could have the toilet under the stairs, (Jonathan's example) which leaves room for the study where he has the toilet.


    It looks like you are nearly there. Its the blessed stairs, maybe look into researching stairs for the size and pitch it needs to be. Why hasn't the development of stairs moved on... Oh it has, escalator, lift or a climbing wall and slide? But yes the placement is important and one of the bigger costs so it needs to be right. :)


  • Claire Bargna
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    We saw the architect today. He told us that the wall in the middle opposite the stairs is load bearing so we can't really take it away. However, we spent a good hour going over different ideas and ended up with this.... (toilet is to the right of the stairs)

    We can't change the stairs. Our ceilings are too high to have straight stairs, they have to be too long. Re the storage/toilet underneath, that's not possible anyway because the stairs go down to the cellar as well as up to the first floor.

    We're happy with this design, we get a kind of family room for the day and still have our evening space. I think we underestimate just how big each floor is.

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to give their input, it really helped us to think everything through. Will let you know what the upstairs ends up looking like too.

    Edit... can't seem to attach a picture!




  • Claire Bargna
    11 days ago




  • Jonathan
    11 days ago

    Sorry to say but I think your architect has done you a disservice. It looks like you have had a meeting with them, expressed concerns about the feel of the space they have designed, you have no doubt suggested other creative options and the result appears to be exactly the same design as previously. In your position I would be very disappointed with the result of that meeting.

  • rinked
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Our ceilings are 2.7m and our stairs is fairly straight (though with two corners at the ends).


    And there is no house yet. How can he say the loadbearing wall has to stay? What type of material will be used for construction? Wooden beams or prestressed concrete? As far as I know concrete floor slabs can easily be 5.8m long with 150mm thickness.

  • christineacy
    11 days ago

    Hello, OOOOh! interesting. Sorry Claire, I agree with Jonathan and rinked. "His plan" says that it is load bearing but it all depends on how and what materials are used and where they are used in the house. I would just say if you have any doubts please do not go with it, you can always get a second architects opinion. I think he may be a little aggrieved that you got a second opinion from us and also used your own ideas. But at anytime you feel it is not right do not say maybe it will look good when its finished. Maybe is a negative and a doubt. And please because of those internal angles make sure you have a healthy contingency. Meanwhile, let us know how it progresses and if you need any help.

  • David B
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    hi, houses in Germany are built a little different from elsewhere, so the floors are all concrete, and the ceilings are therefore also concrete, when there is 64m2 of solid concrete then it requires some load bearing which can either be a wall or some pillars. We discussed the layout for a few hours and showed him some designs based on the feedback from here and the architect was more than happy to use these as a basis, but he doesnt want us to waste any space. We go back to see him again when he will have another revision for us. We actually like the layout and after some tweaking it should hopefully work.

  • rinked
    10 days ago

    Just because I couldn't stop :)


    David B thanked rinked
  • David B
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    thanks all for your great ideas! We have decided to pull out of the project :-( hopefully we can find another plot to build on soon

  • rinked
    5 days ago

    That sure is an option too. ;)

    Hope you find a plot you'll feel 100% zufrieden with!

    Keep up posted!

  • christineacy
    5 days ago

    Hello, David, Claire, Sorry to hear you are pulling out. But the positive thing is you have sooo much more experience dealing with architects etc, which is definitely a plus and you know what you want. So you are ahead of the game. Half the fun is looking for the plot of land... every journey you will now take will be looking out of the car at plots of land and even someone else large patch or a bit of a farm and shouting "stop!" Take a photo and contacting them to see if they will sell the plot... (or is that just me!) So add another 10 mins to any journey. And you have us to help if you need it. Happy hunting :)

  • Jonathan
    4 days ago

    Shame.

    Do you think you could get this plot to work with a different architect?

  • Claire Bargna
    4 days ago

    @rinked sehr gutes Deutsch!


    @christineacy you're absolutely right, we've got some valuable experience now. Unfortunately hunting for land around here isn't quite so much fun as sounds for you! We're in suburban Munich, in the most expensive part of Germany and land goes for a premium, when it's available at all.


    @Jonathan unfortunately there were other reasons than just the layout - we think they were conning us about where we could park the cars and there was a dispute about a shared driveway, so we are sure we have done the right thing in walking away.


    Nevertheless you've all been so amazingly helpful, thank you! Hopefully we'll be back soon with some more floorplan dilemmas :)



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