In this short video about the Harry and Penelope Seidler House in Sydney (which is a beautiful heritage-listed modernist house), Penelope talks about how her and her late husband, Harry, used to drive around looking for the ideal block of land in which to build their own home.
When she begins to talk about the property they ultimately chose (pictured above), she is about to call it a challenging lot, but then immediately corrects and says that it is “an architect’s block” — it’s steeply sloping. I thought this was interesting for two reasons.
One, there are countless examples of famous homes built into steep and sloping terrain. Think, for example, of the Douglas House by Richard Meier. A personal favorite. And two, I myself am drawn to these sorts of lots. Topography creates challenges, but also opportunities. It forces you to engage the site and also really study the section as you design.
Is this really an architect thing?