The Nazareth House, by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL), responds to the dueling demands of a conservative suburban design covenant and a steeply sloping topography. Neighborhood guidelines in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, dictated that the street facing elevation be given a standard pitched-roof form to comply with its neighbors—and with the rest of American suburbia.
In light of these guidelines, LTL, a New York City firm known more for magisterial drawings and avant-gardist inclinations than for suburban neighborhoods, unapologetically planted an icon of suburbia, a garage door under a pitched roof, at the top of the house’s driveway. But this is where any similarity stops. Shifting the house 90 degrees, they minimize the elevational surface area falling under design guidelines. This carries the added advantage of optimizing solar orientation and desirable views, along with the opportunity to work with the site’s challenging topography rather than against it.
The shape of the roof and house changes as it extends from the street elevation. Distorting and folding the roof, its form changes as it moves farther into the lot until it is ultimately manifested as a flat canopy over the back patio. This formal kineticism allows the house’s interior space to change as well, becoming increasingly open as it moves from garage to bedroom to kitchen to living room. The 4,000-square-foot house has not yet broken ground, but LTL is anticipating construction to begin in 2007.
Photo Credits: Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis
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