Hey guys. This awesome home was designed by a Homes of the Rich reader using Microsoft Powerpoint. The home is 50,000 square feet and contains 4 floors. The layout is great and the home’s amenities are simply amazing!! The lower level is heaven!!

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  • Mike F

    This looks interesting. I will ask a very professional architect about this, and if anyone wants, I will post the comments here.




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    • Adam

      Hi everyone, my name is Adam, and I designed this house. I am a 21 year old model and student from Johannesburg, South Africa.

      First and foremost, I’d like to thank everyone for their comments on the home, with special thanks going to PJ for his in depth critique of the problems of the home, and Mike F for going to the trouble of getting an architect’s opinion on the design. Some the comments were, admittedly rather harsh, however as Chance stated, if one is going to publish designs, one must be prepared for harsh criticism, and I also understand that we are all great architecture enthusiasts and aficionados, and that all the critiques were very constructive and helpful, and I really appreciate that.

      I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the issues raised in the comments.

      A major issue, that everyone appears to have with the house is that it seems to be bizarrely out of proportion. This can be seen, as you all realised, by comparing the size of the two car garages to the other rooms. This was intentional. Here in South Africa, the latest architectural trend in the construction of large homes is the use of massive scale – it is very common for ceilings in these homes to be 15 ft high (in SA we use the metric system of measurement, but for convenience sake I will speak in terms of feet), and in double volume/double storey spaces, (for example, in the grand foyer) for the ceilings to be 30ft high, the hallways can be up to 16ft wide. In these mansions, the windows (sometimes 12ft tall), doors, and columns are often absolutely gargantuan in size. This gigantic scale of construction results in truly palatial proportions of the home. I cannot tell you how incredible it is to stand in these massive rooms, with such enormously high ceilings, doors, and windows – the sense of spaciousness is simply breathtaking. The only rooms that are kept the same size as they are in regular houses, are the garages. This inevitable results in the other rooms in the house appearing to be disproportionally large, as PJ stated, “bathrooms on the first floor the size of two car garages” and as Mike F stated “the garages close to the entry porch are not to scale” and as AK commented “Ok. So a majority of the rooms have to be twice the width of the two car garages?”. I did not accidentally make the rooms too large, or the hallways too wide, or the garages too small. The garages are the size of regular garages, and the other rooms quite simply are as huge as they appear to be. I hope that clears up the issue of disproportion in the design.

      Next, Russell stated that although he likes the exterior of the home, the floorplan “looks like a plan that was drawn in the 1800’s like the White House”. This is very true, and once again, intentional. In all of my home designs, I am very concerned with concepts like symmetry, balance, architectural axis, and enfilades (An enfilade, in architecture, is a suite of rooms formally aligned with each other. This was a common feature in grand European architecture from the Baroque period onwards, although there are earlier examples, such as the Vatican stanze. The doors entering each room are aligned with the doors of the connecting rooms along a single axis, providing a vista through the entire suite of rooms. The enfilade can be used as a processional route, and is a common arrangement in museums and art galleries, as it facilitates the movement of large numbers of people through a building.) The inspiration for my homes comes primarily from grand French Chateaux, and other classical European palaces, which made use of all these architectural elements. Seeing that the White House is a large, symmetrical building built on an axis, it is expected that there would be a degree of similarity.

      Next, PJ stated “A windowless staff living area that is four times the size of a two car garage? That would make it roughly 1,600 sf. Who gives their maid a 1,600 sq. foot living room?”. Firstly, the windowless issue is a problem I agree. It can however be solved by bringing the staff living area forward, in line with the guest suite, so that it could have windows. That way there would be no need for the staff foyer, as one could simply put doors on the wall which would now have the windows, and by making the staff rooms slightly smaller, both staff suites could it alongside the living area. Now to address the size of the staff area: Here in South Africa the vast majority of people have at least one full time live in maid. Moderately wealthy people can have up to 5 or 6 full time staff. Most families keep the same staff for years and years, most of my maids have been with my family since I was a young boy, our head maid has been with us since I was born – 21 years! They really are part of the family, and most people here fell this way about their staff. Therefore it is only natural for us to give them the same accommodation as we offer our guests. The reason that the living area is so large, is because it is not just a living room – it would also need to contain the staff kitchen, dining room, lounge and TV area (after all, our staff also need somewhere to relax and entertain their guests). I hope that clears up that issue.

      Architect 121 stated that “many of the rooms do not have windows”. In some instances, like walk in closets and certain bathrooms, windows are unnecessary, and I sacrificed those in order to give the bedrooms the views. However, a major windowless room is the living room on the first floor. This rooms is more of an oversize gallery simply performing the function of connecting the guest suite to the rest of the house, so that if it is raining, it is possible to get to the guest suite without having to go outside. There is already a family room (which would house the main TV area) and a formal lounge which has mammoth windows for formal entertaining, so this area really is more of a transitional gallery than anything else.

      Mike F stated, “The Dining room is too narrow as well as the Family Room. The formal Lounge is too narrow for its length.” The dining room may look narrow, but in fact it is the same width as the two car garages, which is longer than the length of most dining rooms. I designed it to be extraordinarily long, so as to accommodate 50 seats: 24 down each side, and 1 at either end. Additionally, it would not feel claustrophobic because it is essentially an extension of the oversize hallway, along one side it is open to the covered patio and the grounds beyond, and at the end through a columned archway is the conservatory which has a huge window. The long rectangular lounge is broken by the square bar are in the centre. The family room is essentially open to the main gallery and the grand foyer, so it too would not feel narrow. However, I do understand that for their lengths, these rooms appear to be narrow. Perhaps this could be solved by simply making them wider and pushing the back of the house out further?

      Mike F stated that “Massive wasted hallway space to all bedrooms. The bedrooms are oversized.” The massive hallways are a feature of the house. I don’t really see them as wasted space because even though they are huge, the house still has every space imaginable and therefore it’s not as though the hallways are taking the place of something else that could be there instead. As for the gigantic bedrooms – I want everyone who sleeps in this house to feel like royalty – I want them to feel as though their bedrooms is even more stunning, even more luxurious than the king’s apartments at the Palace of Versailles. These huge bedrooms, have space not only for enormous furniture, a lounge area, a tv area, a coffee and tea bar, huge chaise-longe’s, a desk and work area, and a massive circular table with a breathtaking flower arrangement such as those in the presidential suites of great hotels.

      Mike F commented “His and Her Baths should have windows and be closer to the closets.” Regarding the windows, I forgot to put them in LOL, but the rooms do face onto the rear of the home, so that is easily rectifiable. As for placing them closer to the closets, I think that is a great idea, and can be achieved very easily, by swapping the places of the bedroom and the bathrooms around, and placing doorways from the bathrooms into the closets. Fantastic suggestion! Very logical, and makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

      Mike F stated “Theater too small
      Basketball court out of scale
      Galleries and Gym out of proportion” Regarding the size of the theatre, I suppose it could be larger, my it already has 18 seats I think, (difficult to see on these small pictures, on my computer I can zoom in on PowerPoint), and I don’t really think that it needs to be too much larger, but I suppose it could be doubled in size if you take away the theatre foyer, however I really like the foyer because it has the concession stand and ticket booth which I think are awesome! Lol

      Mike F commented, “Galleries and Gym out of proportion”. I agree. Will adjust them accordingly. I just needed them to be large enough to accommodate the staircases leading down to the sports courts and pool area below, but I will make another plan.

      Mike F stated, “Also, with the formality attempted here you would not walk into the kitchen to get to the breakfast room!” I think it’s nice to have the breakfast room leading off the kitchen? The breakfast room in the lake Carrington floorplans (which I used for the architectural details like doors fireplaces and staircases) has the breakfast room through the kitchen, and no formal meals are ever hosted in the breakfast room anyway? However, this problem can be solved by simply creating an archway between the conservatory and the breakfast room, to provide a more formal entry to the breakfast area without having to go through the kitchen.

      Finally PJ stated, “I see three staircases on the lower floor that don’t have any corresponding staircases indicated on the main floor.” The basketball court, racquetball court and indoor pool area are double storey. There is another level below the lower level on which these areas are situated. Originally, these areas on the lower level read “open to basketball court below” etc, and the three staircases simply lead down to the courts and the pool, however I did not include this “sub basement” level in the plans because all it contains are the courts and the pool, and so I decided to simply change the labels on the lower level from “open to indoor lap pool below” to “indoor lap pool”. Quite silly of me I suppose. But just so you know, the courts and the pool are double story and that is the reason for the three staircases.

      What I would like to do is work on the house again, and do some much needed renovations bearing of your amazing suggestions in mind. I’d like to thank Kenny for putting up my design, and I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we’ll miss your posts on Homes of the Rich, and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours. Thanks for sharing with us your passion for mansions!




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      • Mike F

        I will take the time to read the comment you just wrote. Just wanted to say that I think it is nice that you have taken so much time with making the plans. Sometimes when we make plans we think they are really super, until someone comes and starts correcting the mistakes we’ve made 🙂

        I am somewhat of an amateur architect myself, and think it’s tons of fun to design and change stuff. I have made plans for my own “elite cottage village”, like in the ones in the country areas of Moscow. Would like to see this project come in real one day. House of differnt sizes, from about 2,000 square feet up to about 50,000. My two favourites are the contemporary versions of Lynnewood Hall and Whitemarsh Hall.

        All the comments regarding the plans comes directly from a very skilled architect, they are not my words. I asked for his OK to publish the comments, and he agreed.




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      • admin

        Wow, great detailed report! I can see you have a true passion for designing large scale homes. Thanks so much for your kind words!!




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  • russell

    The outside is nice but the floor plan is not proportional and is very compartmentalized. The home is not conducive for everyday living. It looks like a plan that was drawn in the 1800’s like the White House.




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  • I agree that the home is a little compartmentalized, but at the same time, I like the idea of the layout, and I think this home would be very interesting to see for real. The craftsmanship of the floorplan is very nice!




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  • tony

    i like it. although i’m not a fan of every room being boxy, i do like all of the various functions. would like to see the plan for the rest of the grounds too.




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  • steve82

    i love the basement, and i know my wife would kill for that closet, but im not sure i would use 80% of this house on a daily basis. still it is pretty cool and it sure beats my 3 bedroom ranch.




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  • P.J.

    It’s clear whoever did this spent a lot of time and that’s cool but it’s so bizarrely out of proportion that I find it disorienting. Bathrooms on the first floor the size of the two car garages? I see three staircases on the lower floor that don’t have any corresponding staircases indicated on the main floor. A windowless staff living area that is four times the size of a two car garage? That would make it roughly 1,600 sf. Who gives their maid a 1,600 sq. foot living room? With two fireplaces? The living room is also windowless and 24 fireplaces is simply overkill. I think whomever did this has a lot to learn, but I also think the whomever did this is passionate about these things and with practice will learn about proportion and how to work his layouts to be more cohesive and more livable. I also think he or she will look back on this in 5 years and say, “oh god, I was such an amateur.”




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  • russell

    I agree with P.J.




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  • architect121

    i think the things that are thowing this plan off are the garages. if you eliminate those, everything looks somewhat proportional and then both the living room and the staff living room can gave some windows. you can put a garage/motor court off the staff entry that is more relitive to the size of the home.




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  • Mike F

    I have received two replies from a good architect. I will not mention his name, but I will tell you his comments:

    The design you sent is really bad:
    First Floor
    Garages close to entry porch are not to scale.
    The large staff room has no windows, and as you mention the baths and other areas do not either.
    The Dining room is too narrow as well as the Family Room. The formal Lounge is too narrow for its length.
    The Grand Foyer is nice though
    Second Floor
    Massive wasted hallway space to all bedrooms. The bedrooms are oversized.
    His and Her Baths should have windows and be closer to the closets.
    Basement
    Wasted huge hallways
    Theater too small
    Basketball court out of scale
    Galleries and Gym out of proportion
    only the Entertainment room works.
    The elevation is awful.
    This must be a rank amateur from either China or Russia

    Also, with the formality attempted here you would not walk into the kitchen to get to the breakfast room!




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  • KEV

    I agree with most of the comments, it does seem boxy and very sterile and hotel-like in the layout. A house utilizing this many rooms, especially with the many different entertainment areas and sport facilities, would probably have to be more like 100,000 square feet, sprawled out over a larger area. There would likely be more of a connected building type structure with the bedrooms and entertainment rooms in one structure, the sports/pool in another, servants in another and a seperate garage. All these buildings would be connected by proportionally sized galleries that would feature many windows, allowing a view of the grounds. Such a house would probably cost upwards of 60 million or more, and would be a huge waste of money and resources, mainly because, as pointed out above, 80% of the home would be gathering dust while all the living went on the the remaining 20%. A close approximation of the sprawling style I am talking about is Ira Rennert’s house in the Hamptons (?) Not sure why anyone would ever feel the need to build such a monstrosity to themsevles and their ego, but whatever…..By the way, nice powerpoint work. This house may not necessarily be workable as a realistic home, but it does have all the bells and whistles.




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  • AK

    Ok. So a majority of the rooms have to be twice the width of the two car garages? The bathrooms on the first floor are the same size as the garages. Even if someone decides to build a mega-mansion, I don’t know if they will make the bathrooms for guest bedrooms anywhere near that large. I could write 100 more lines about the scale problems of this plan, but I wont.




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  • Dima
    • Mike F

      Dima, thank you for that link! I like that big house, ochen horosho! 😀




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  • hat

    I believe who ever designed this house: it was there first time. Now think of this poor person reading all of these nasty coments about there design. Mr. Mike F I happen to be thirteen and I have a strong sense that you didn’t send to an architect with in a five hour time frame at night. Really? And is it just a coincidence that you didn’t mention the architects name??? I know plenty of architects and non of them would insult someone elses work (sorry to point you out) I just am trying to make a point… The house may not be the greatest plan ever but It is a lot better than most people could do. I hope this person will keep designing for they will for sure get somewhere.




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    • Mike F

      I actually did sent it to an architect, who is located in the United States, and I am sitting in Finland. So we have a time difference between us. And what he does in his time zone and at what time he is doing it, I do not really care. But true is that he is 1: an architect 2: he is a very famous one, designing high-end custom homes. This is why I would not like to mention his name, because people can start mailing him comments, and I seriously doubt that he would be interested in that.

      Regarding the insult, as you call it. This is what I was told, and I wrote his view about the plans and renderings made. I might have expressed myslef differently. An insult or not, I have no view regarding this.




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  • Dima
    • Mike F

      Dima, do you have articles about private residences outside Moskva? Rublevo-Uspenskoe, Nikolina Gora and similar places.




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  • Dima

    Yes, but very few of them, mostly just photos.

    http://cottage.usadba.ru/UsadbaSite/Sale/s2627.nsf

    100 000 000 USD

    more http://www.salon.ru/article.plx?id=9500&path=interior&rid=287

    I think they are not interesting.Houses are not too large.

    not more than 20,000 square feet.

    Moscow real estate http://www.jqestate.ru/main.php?page=02village&way=1&filtr=1&cost=20000000-1000000000




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  • Dima

    Yes, I like these houses,

    but I like more at home in Beverly Hills and England.

    Ukrain rublevka http://www.rospres.com/dossier/4705/




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  • Dima
    • Mike F

      I read that some American companies will build a lot in Russia and Ukrain. The houses will be “western style”, probably towards the American more. This could be interesting.

      Have you seen the cottage project in Lahta outside Peterburg? They have sold several of them. An interesting project, but they suffer from bad planning, which is sad. The link http://www.versailles-palace.ru/ DO NOT CLICK THE ENGLISH-VERSION! It used to contain a virus. Why the Russian does not I have no idea. Go to “panorama” and click on the miniature houses. You have floor plans there also.




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  • Dima

    Yes, I do not like, too easy.

    I like Fleur De Lys Holmby Hills house.




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    • Mike F

      Fleur De Lys is a nicely done house. The exterior is really beautiful. The interior… Well, they do love the colour of gold, since it is just about everywhere 😀

      What do you think about this house? No longer on the market, but you can see a big photo of it. http://www.1288oaklandestate.com/ Think it was shell and core when it was offered for sale, meaning of course that you need A LOT of moeny to do the interiors.




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  • Brian

    Looks like the interior of a hotel. Too boring. May be good for a first work, but do another and think of creating an environment in addition to utilizing space efficiently.




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  • Gatsbyesque

    I think the layout is pretty grand. It has its problems, especially on the second floor, but the lower level and main floor are laid out opulently and it feels very “estate-like.” I actually prefer compartmentalized rooms adjoined to each other and to the grounds by series’ of doors, french doors, and long, imposing galleries. The “open floor-plan” has no place in a home of a certain stature… maybe for your vacation home – but not the primary estate residence – NO! Homes like this should be about elegance. If you want to do most of your “entertaining” in the kitchen, this sort of home is not for you.

    As for the mountain of criticism, some of it is valid. But he wins tons of extra points for designing a mansion that LOOKS like a mansion on paper – and not just your regular family home with ballooned square footage.

    Good job!!! Please do more!




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  • Teddee13

    Don’t know how I missed seeing this before but I’m impressed by this concept. I’ve been trying to find a floorplan generator that doesn’t break the bank, I never considered using pp. I love that consideration was given to what a house that size needs to have, like the staff quarters. Placement of the rooms and access doesn’t follow a pattern that would make living easy. e.g. having to go thru the master closets to get to the 3rd floor. Cigar room/bar should be closer to wine cellar, tasting room. That many fireplaces is impractical. All in all, great effort




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