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They found the views with a cherry picker ... and went up for them.

They found the views with a cherry picker . . . and went up for them

"Look for the opportunity, then exploit it'is an old adage--but it can be a useful reminder in designing a house. It was especially relevant to the task of fitting this new house onto a 50- by 75-foot lot in San Diego. Though the house is just a block from the bay, neighboring houses built up to the lot line blocked its ground-floor views.

San Diego architects Ralph Roesling andKotaro Nakamura saw their opportunity in height and careful site planning. First, they rented a cherry picker to determine where the best views were; they found them facing south, from second- and third-floor heights at the back of the lot. With an L-shaped plan, they could place the main living areas there, where views weren't blocked by the neighbors. One side of the narrow master bedroom wing faces the street; the other skirts one side of the entry garden.

Sitting on concrete piers, the house leavesmost of the ground floor free for covered parking (badly needed in the densely developed area) and lifts the living room, dinning room, and kitchen high enough to capture views and south-facing outdoor space. A small den and a sewing room on the third floor function as urban crow's nests for informal entertaining.

Softening the house's inside right angleare a greenhouse-like entry and stair hall rising the full three stories; they bring light into rooms on every level. Insulated reflective-glass panels were fixed in steel frames with silicone caulk. Vents at the top allow air circulation.

Photo: Third-floor deck takes advantage of view corridorextending over and between adjacent houses

Photo: French doors open small third-floor den to"captain's bridge' overlooking marina

Photo: Upper stairs cantilever over section ofglass-wrapped atrium entry. Sculptural bookcase forms railing wall of lower stair

Photo: Distinct shapeshelp define separate areas. Entry hall curves, small square tower contains work rooms, living areas fit into big boxes and private space into narrow rectangles; all open to view

Photo: Glass-topped "flying bridge' over stair-top hall leads intoden. Clapboard siding blurs distinction between indoors and outdoors
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:house with views of San Diego Bay
Date:May 1, 1987
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