You enter a house and you walk against a blank wall. Two steps to the left you walk through the living room door into the house, backwards. In depth, towards the garden. To your right there is nothing but open space. Free play for sight to look directly into the garden from the front door if … that wall had not been there.
And that is why it is essential, as one of the starting points of a design, that sight lines are recorded in it.
Particularly with renovations of 60s and 70s homes, we have noticed that hubby construction hinders visibility and hinders the sense of space and orientation. That is why we first make an analysis of the home: what is the construction like? How is this structured? Where are the sightlines now?
The same applies to new construction: if the basis is set, then we make draft drawings with lines of sight that clearly map out what you look out to in and outside. This helps us and the client to get the most out of the space.
It is important to rank on main and secondary lines. No jumble of lines and connections; surprise and excitement are the starting points. Enter and look into the back garden from the hall. Finding connections between mutual spaces, thereby creating both openness and unity. And surprising that, we prefer to do it once well, than half-baked five times.
What I often notice with clients is that they think big. They aspire an extreme openness and spatiality in the house, so that everything belongs together and everything is in view. Then you penalize on surprise and intimacy. Aesthetics and practical use of space must be in balance. Of course you want a “beautiful” design, but beautiful becomes ugly if it is realized and it does not make sense.
Openness, connection, spatiality – sightlines ensure that certain elements in a home get the attention they deserve through a specific line play. But perhaps most important of all: they force choices and focus. So that they bring what a good design should do in a home: rest.
You can find a very recent project in which clear lines of sight played a prominent role here.