Regional Modern: Pacific Views Shape Home Design on the Coast

By John Hill
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Regional Modern: LA Coast

Editor's Note: The Regional Modern series focuses on the regional differences in modern and contemporary architecture, countering the impression that "modern" means universal and placeless. In photo tours from Manhattan to Malibu, see how today's innovative homes are influenced by climate, environment, and culture, becoming both private oases and part of a larger landscape we all share.

This Regional Modern tour of residential architecture in the United States ends overlooking the Pacific Ocean. These houses in and around Los Angeles can be seen as a summation of the series, which often dealt with the shaping of form toward important views. The setting sun over the expansive Pacific is as clear a view as any.

Views can be seen (cynically) as a means to maximize value by orienting a house toward what is beautiful, editing out the unsightly. But letting views dictate a house's form can also be interpreted as a way to connect us with a larger context, be it natural, human, or a combination of both. Our houses are our oases, but they are part of a larger landscape we all share. Views make us aware of this and, I hope, make us more responsible citizens of the Earth.


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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/regional-modern-pacific-views-shape-home-design-on-the-coast/249595/