There is modern day architectural equivalent of the old real estate dictum about the three most important rules of value (you know: location, location and location). The design version of that would be that the three most important characteristics of a houses surroundings are view, view and – that’s right – view!
I can hear the readers’ minds mentally reciting “well, duh!” while thinking of a view that is something like this panorama from a recent house I designed. Sweet!
Ah, but that is not all there is to “view”. There are other vistas the designer can use to create a sense of openness to the surroundings. Try a window oriented to a treeline or even a single tree; and my favorite trick that applies to almost ALL houses: the sky!
The well placed skylight can open up a night sky, a morning sun, a cloudline that is every bit as pleasing as a city lights view. Most importantly, it performs the function that other view designs accomplish: it opens up the house to its surroundings, and so makes it seem larger than it is, less constrained if you will.
Here are 2 pictures of a house for the Travel editor of the Today show that gave him a great ‘view’; of his landscaped and waterscaped yard, of an adjacent treeline, and of the sky beyond. Now that’s a view lot.