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How to design a cliff house
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- Description: Welcome to design a dwelling - volume 1 Im Doug Patt. This is the series where we pick a site and put a house on it. Youve probably seen cliff dwellings if not in person, then most likely in your social studies textbooks. Youve also probably seen houses set way up on a cliff like out in California. Well today were taking a cliff site, which happens to be in the town of Hastings in East Sussex County, Southeast England. The picture were using today was taken in about 1972 and is apparently just below Hastings Castle, which was, built in 1066 by William the conqueror. This is obviously a dramatic site. The scale of the photo is slightly difficult to make out but in reality its superfluous. This exercise is simply to describe what an architect might be thinking about in a schematic way if cost and schedule were in no way an issue. It also assumes that just about anything is possible, which is the way I like it. So, I did some sketching yesterday thinking about the site. Im always more inclined to go modern and this site definitely lends itself to that aesthetic. I think as always if you can, its important to take advantage of the view. So well get lots of windows and perhaps even some cantilevered porches. I think it would also be fun to make the building look like its part of the side of the mountain. So well focus on boxy forms that resemble the profile of the existing cliff. I also think it might be neat to clad the building in wood. Perhaps teke or cedar and stain it to compliment the colors of the rocks. Now, the photo is a little red violet and perhaps thats not really the color of the rocks. But were in the land of make-believe here so well do what we want and pick colors that compliment the image. So we started with the image of the cliff. Weve got our sketch completed. Youll notice that I made some changes to the bottom portion of the building. The long rectangular shape was a little awkward so I eliminated it and simplified the form a bit. We can overlay the sketch on the photo to make sure our scale and position are correct. Lets cut out the portion of the building from the cliff photo. Well add some color and then darker value for windows. Well add some shade and shadow and alter the value of the orange slightly its a little intense. Finally well add my favorite super cool CIA guy scale figure and some clouds. And there you have a modern cliff dwelling. Thanks for checking out volume1 of - design a dwelling. This is Doug Patt. See you next time on how to architect
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