This design for a 3,500 square foot house for a retired couple is determined by two contradictory forces: the conventions of the standard suburban home and the adjustment to the peculiarities of its steeply sloping site. The house is rotated ninety degrees to the public edge and aligned with the topography, optimizing solar orientation and desirable views. Situated between two parallel retaining walls of local stone, the house is designed to produce either a condition of myopia or hyperopia; from within it is only possible to see close up (into the terrace) or far away (the distant view).
From the public street, the house appears only as a garage door under a pitched roof - the icon of the suburban home. The shape of the house changes as one moves away from the street. Playing off the distinction between formal front and informal back (Queen Anne front and Mary-Ann rear) typical of American homes, the design reconfigures and distorts familiar tropes of suburban domesticity and landscape.
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