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In what is maybe the most strategic discovery of this project, we came to understand that the site’s orientation to the sun and the main view are at odds with each other—producing a condition by which the long axis of the house would run north-south, with its west view being the dominant one, facing Round-Top Mountain. Whereas a more energy conscious strategy would be to orient the long face to the south, the slope of the site running east-west made it difficult to accommodate. Thus, the orientation of the house benefits from both the southern and western views, while its glazing system gains maximum access to photovoltaic energy on both fronts. To maintain the purity of this oblique condition, our formal impulse was to capture the diagonal orientation by planning a wall that could divide all private functions from the open spaces of the living, dining, kitchen and library spaces, such that the plan –much like the classic shotgun house– completely divests itself from circulatory spaces.

The combination of the planimetric and sectional operations on this house, both operating on the diagonal, produce oblique conditions that effectively produce the type of conical distortions that is reflective of perspectival illusions: creating a house that appears longer than it actually is, pushing the eye out towards the landscape, and radicalizing the perception of height between the compression and expansion of space. The name of the house borrows from the transition from the oblique to the conical.

Project Team: Nader Tehrani, Amin Tadj

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