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56 square feet of maximum efficiency.

MAYBE THE SPACE shuttle's cockpit is more complex inch for inch, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more tightly designed home office.

Pat and Howard Clark's 1960s Phoenix house was never designed for a computer-intensive workspace. The couple's first office setup was in a spare bedroom, but it was unorganized and not dedicated solely to office space. The only room that couljd be nothing but office was a 56-square-foot utility and storage closet wedged between the laundry and garage.

But this roomlet wasn't exactly empty; in it resided four all but immovable objects: a heating, venting, and air-conditioning unit; a large accompanying ceiling-mounted return-air vent; a hot-water heater; and the house's main electrical panel.

Architect James Scalise left these design impediments where they were. The HVAC unit and water heater were concealed in louvered closets; the return-air vent runs above a dropped ceiling panel that disguises it but still lets air circulate to it. The electrical panel is now hidden by the wall panel on which a regulator clock is mounted.

The white-lacquered cabinetry houses two computer systems, several feet of library, files, and newspaper storage, as well as an entertainment system. There's also ample shelving for mementos, set off by room-expanding mirrored back panels.

Fluorescent fixtures on top of the below wall-hung shelves provide abundant light. More fixtures are sandwiched between the ceiling and the dropped panel.

Additional wiring and all the existing plumbing and mechanical systems are relatively accessible. Closet, wall, and ceiling panels swing on hinges or unscrew to open.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:home office design
Author:Crosby, Bill
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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