At breakfast, the eastern sunlight enters the kitchen and adjoining dining room. Diners start the day with the early warmth of morning sun balanced by light from the kitchen window to the south.
By noon, the warm midday sun strikes the south face of the building, with its chamfered corners oriented to the view. A long wraparound porch shades the south side on the lower floor, giving midday protection to a kitchen window that fills the south-facing wall and to the French doors that open from the living room to the porch.
By late afternoon, the sun has moved around to the west and enters through the corner windows of the living room.
It is important for afternoon and evening activities to have a sense of the light but also to be protected from heat gain. Here the protection is created by dense landscaping outside the corner windows, which blocks the sun as it gets low in western sky.
The west-facing corner of the stairwell landing has windows that bounce light onto the very center of the house, where it falls down the stairs and into the entry hall — a balance to the more direct western light.
Discuss this article in our Home Design Forum...
Patterns of Home
Part of the ArchitectureWeek Patterns series. Text and images excerpted with permission from Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design by Max Jacobson, Murray Silverstein, and Barbara Winslow, copyright © 2002 The Taunton Press, Inc. The book is available from The Taunton Press and at Amazon.com.