SousaSantos Architects designed the Y House with views and sightlines as their most formative influence. Views into and out of the Y House are carefully dictated by the architects. A cantilevered living space, for instance, incorporates a large floor to ceiling window that allows panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, while simultaneously creating a fish bowl effect at night. Elsewhere, the design is not so generous as to allow unrestricted views. Through most of the home’s hallways, small, angled windows are placed at specific intervals to create the impression of a slide show as residents progress through the spaces. Most windows, instead of being mounted flush against the façade, are recessed into the white stucco walls and skewed toward a particular landscape feature.
Aside from the judicious control of views, the architects designed the Y House based on a hierarchy of spaces. Spaces are distinctly separated into rest areas, leisure areas, and work areas, without overlap in between. The result is a three-pronged floor plan, with each “branch” dedicated to a specific purpose.
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