Built Despite Tiny Site: Small Stone Hillside Home Design
Designing for a hot climate, small site and hillside lot are difficult enough individual constraints for architects to overcome alone – let alone all at the same time. This marvelous little home by P + T architects manages to make the most of a seemingly difficult situation through a few critical design moves that turn problems into opportunities.
The result is a two-volume solution in which the top level overlaps the lower story to create a shield from the bright sun while also providing views out over the valley below. The odd triangular lot shape led to a complex angular form that conforms to the site without violating the legal boundaries of the buildable lot area.
Variegated stone fences create a conceptual barrier that blends in with the desert-like natural surroundings while the rectilinear wood and dark gray stone of the house proper set it apart from the landscape. In the end, this house manages to be both contextual and contemporary, using local materials but clearly differentiated as a modern home on the hill.
“The terrain presented three conditions that determined the actions taken that would finally define the project. Because of the lot being of triangular shape located in a corner, the legal edification lines left the constructible area in the center, a steep incline of 40%, and finally, sun exposure and views towards the valley.”
“The operation consists in separating the architecture program into two overlapping volumes parallel to the terrain lines, so when seen in section both volumes relate to the landscape.”
“The lower volume is buried in the terrain and adopts a materiality that allows you to understand it as a socle that blends with the landscape as well as the stone walls that enclose the site. In this volume the bedrooms connect with the garden that exists over the street level below.”