The Bi-level was born out of its Ranch and Split Level Counterparts. Split-levels had provided a roomier alternative to Ranch Houses, but these Split-levels did not always lend themselves to clients who appreciates the linear, rambling plan of the Ranch. To combat this deficiency in the Split-level, some designers began to only divide the entryway rather than the entire structure. The result was the Bi-level with a front door that leads to a two story landing halfway between two floors.
The Bi-level is similar to the Split-level in its separation of interior spaces, this time divided by the two-story entry landing rather than a formal middle level/ The upper level generally has working and sleeping spaces and the lower level has the garage and living area. Spaces are easily modified as dictated by a building’s lot. The entry could be lowered or raised, depending on the topography of the land. Exteriors are typically characterized by Colonial, Tudor, or Populist Modern Details.
- Raised Basement
- Windows near grade level
- Front door leads to two-story landing halfway between two floors, most often centrally located
- Upper level has projecting façade
- Rear deck on upper level
- Garage wing has separate gabled, roof line
- Higgins, Alan. Architectural Movements of the Recent Past. PDF.