Jul 20, 2017
The canon of architecture offers many significant examples of hillside houses cascading down toward a significant view. This project addresses an unusual site constraint, where the best view is over your shoulder. Like many sites with expansive views, this site is prominently visible, and although the platted building pad sits squarely atop the ridge, placement of a home there would substantially disrupt existing mountain silhouettes.
This design seeks to preserve the natural character of the canyon and avoid the 'cherry on top of the sundae' site strategy dictated by the plat. Oriented on the back side of the knoll, the house stands away from the street and hugs tightly to the topography. Meanwhile, the broad south side of the home opens up toward Dale Benchmark and Perkins Peak: 90 degrees of protected mountain views. Strategic site placement and a binary approach to glazing ensure that this house in a highly developed canyon will have no man-made objects in sight, except for the view it frames toward the Salt Lake Valley.
The home's unique design was motivated by an interest in the manipulation of vernacular roof forms, a current preoccupation of the practice that has spanned across several recent projects. The design began with a simple rectangular bar scheme, bending it into an elongated ‘Z’ in both plan in order to adhere to the slope of the site and direct the view toward Dale Benchmark and Perkins Peak.
About Steven Christensen Architecture
Steven Christensen Architecture is an award-winning design practice based in Santa Monica, California. The firm's built work ranges in scale from a 64 square foot museum installation to the 36,000 square foot headquarters of a software startup. The firm was recently honored with the 2016 Young Architects’ Award from the Architect’s Newspaper, a recognition given to one emerging firm per year nationwide.
Emigration House, a project by Steven Christensen Architecture of Santa Monica, California, has received a Special Mention distinction at the Architizer A+ Awards. The Architizer A+Awards received entries from over 100 countries, and its winners represent the best of architecture and design worldwide. The jury included such industry luminaries as Denise Scott Brown, Bjarke Ingels and Tom Kundig, as well as personalities from outside of architecture such as Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), Yves Behar (Fuseproject), John Edelman (CEO, Design Within Reach), Cameron Sinclair (Architecture for Humanity) and Barry Bergdoll (MoMA).
All photo credits: Steven Christensen Architecture
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