Title page for ETD etd-05262006-160618

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Treser, Steven Thomas
Author's Email Address streser@vt.edu
URN etd-05262006-160618
Title Cliff House
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Galloway, William U. Committee Chair
Cortes, Mario C. Committee Member
Jones, James R. Committee Member
  • Lake
  • Claytor
  • Cube
  • House
  • Cliff
Date of Defense 2006-05-12
Availability unrestricted
This thesis began with the goal of designing a bold house cantilevered over the edge of a cliff 120 feet above the water, and evolved into the study of how to design when starting with the primary form of a cube.

The cube was chosen as representing the crystalline form of the rock upon which the house sits. The outside shell of the house is horizontal, board formed concrete, also in reference to the layered rock of the cliff face.

There are two primary forces cutting away the mass of the cube to produce the final form of the house. The first force is of the site, and is generated by two spectacular views. These two views are used to cut through the house, forming an “X” shaped atrium eight feet wide and four storeys high, in the center of the house.

The second force is generated by the desire to bring daylight into two opposite corners of the house. The southern corner of the house faces the lake. The bottom of that corner is cut out more than the top to admit direct sun in the winter, indirect sun in the summer, and reflected sun off the lake year round.

The northern corner of the house faces the woods. The top of that corner is cut out more than the bottom to allow northern light into the top floors and maintain privacy on the lower floor, where the driveway approaches the house.

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