Homes that are built on or into sloping terrains are fascinating to me because the inconveniences of having to deal with uneven ground create additional constraints. And constraints are good for design. Not only because, I feel, it makes the design process easier, but because it helps to ensure that the moves being made are less arbitrary.
You are forced to respond to the surrounding context. You have no choice but to find some kind of harmony. And that can make things feel more deliberate, which may be the most important characteristic of good design. You want to know that someone actually thought about the design that they have put forward. You want to know that things were carefully considered.
Of course, sloping terrains also create opportunities. They usually translate into great views, which is certainly the case with the LR2 Residence in Pasadena, California by Montalba Architects (pictured above). Here, the main “entertaining deck” is located on the upper floor and has a large outdoor terrace. This configuration is not uncommon in slopside houses.
For more information about the LR2 Residence, including photos and floor plans, click here.
Photo/Diagram: Kevin Scott / Montalba Architects