SIGHTING THE HOUSE

In reading an old text “Practical Landscape Gardening, Robert Cridland (De La Mare Publishing Company, N.Y. 1916), I came across a distinct perspective in addressing sighting a house on a small lot.

The author begins by noting that the location of a majority of homes are governed by the street in an urban or suburban setting, such that highways and roads usually run north and south, or east and west and so the houses within developments are placed accordingly, invariably facing the street.

“This is a practice that should be discontinued if we are to get all the enjoyment out of our homes.” He suggests turning the house entirely around if necessary in order to get the best exposure/light, because in his estimation “the course of the sun in relation to the principled rooms of the house should be of the first importance.”

Here the house is classically placed adjacent to the street, in the center of lot facing the rear, and overlooking a formal garden design. 

Best exposure for the house in relation to the sun.

Best exposure for the house in relation to the sun.

Similarly, the author further recommends that “by careful planning of the house and grounds, the kitchen wing may face the street with more pleasure and comfort to the occupants and without objection to the passerby.”

Best exposure for the house in relation to the sun.

Best exposure for the house in relation to the sun.

Another rule...“The house should always be on an eminence, but not necessarily the highest point on the property. He advises selecting or creating a site with rising ground in the rear.

Eastern philosophy (feng-shui) suggests a master bedroom facing the east will receive the motivating and bright rays of a rising sun. “Sleeping to the east” many people believe is fundamental and in tune with our natural biological rhythms and cycles, not to mention an obvious and immediate way of calculating the days weather ( and, it's faster than an iphone app).

***all Illustrations from Practical Landscape Gardening