How You Site Your Home is Important
How you site your home is important. Construction of any type necessarily disrupts the natural environment to varying degrees. Our approach is placement of the home with sensitivity to the surrounding natural world – the boulders, trees and modulations of the earth itself. One of the guiding principles of home siting should be the preservation of trees, not only as beautification of the site itself, but also as protection from the visual disruption of the site when the house is viewed from a distance.
Not only should the house be placed in harmony with its surroundings, but you should also consider carefully the planning of your entry to the entire project. Make it a wonderful transition from the mechanical world of your car through the natural setting surrounding your house and finally into the doorway and the home itself.
Both time and expertise are needed to site a project well. The value of this all-important consideration will more than be returned in the value of your home and in the enrichment of your life.
Design Follows Siting
1. Siting of the home must be taken into consideration before design begins. In fact, the general location of the house is the first step toward good design.
2. Position the house first. When the architect first reviews the land, the project should be looked at as a master plan rather than as a specific design. These things must be taken into account:
- How the driveway will approach the house
- The type of view that can be enjoyed from the site
- Which of the interior spaces need southern or northern light
- How the sun moves across the sit from morning to afternoon thus affecting the interior spaces
3. Design follows siting. After the general positioning has been determined, the architect considers the approach of the automobile, morning sun, afternoon sun and especially the southern sunlight in northern climates. The view is also of great importance. Since every space in the house cannot have primary positioning, priority choices must be made at this point.
The approach should be of primary importance. How people will approach the entry space from the parking area is crucial. In many homes we often see the family entering the house into the kitchen through the garage, or sometimes directly into the living space . . . both poor solutions. The entry space and the experience of entering into the home is an important emotional step, often overlooked in the plans you can purchase in a book or magazine. Entry is doubly important in a northern climate.
Remember the sequence of experiences. Consider the entire sequence that people undergo in the home experience. First, the approach by automobile and the initial view of the house; next, the parking and landscape experience when approaching the house on foot; then, crossing into the space entry which must be practical in all seasons; and finally, moving into either the primary living space or into the functional spaces. A well-designed home can create a daily experience that enhances your life. A home is more than a shelter. It is the environment which more closely impacts our lives than any other. And, it starts with good siting.