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An architect’s lot

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?

Image: Monocle

1 Comment so far

  1. Myron Nebozuk

    “A personal favorite”. I completely agree- Douglas House may very well be the best home design of the 20th century. It stands in stark and refreshing contrast to that chestnut of modern design Falling Water.


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