The Offset Room

By offsetting a second room so that it protrudes into the Uphill Patio you may get a whole section of windows which face a new direction altogether. There are a number of advantages to doing this.

First, you have the same advantages of a controlled view that you have with the Uphill Patio. Nothing that your neighbors construct is likely to be visible from the windows in the Offset section.

Secondly, you get the effect of a "second garden" for the price and effort of the first. This is to say that, though the windows of the Offset wall face the same Uphill Patio garden, they do so from a new direction and elevation making the garden appear different from the fresh perspective. Yet these benefits are accrued with no additional labor on your part; the excavation has already been made, the shoring put in place, the soil enriched, the plants grown and the rocks and other inanimate objects gathered and placed.

If the Offset Room is a higher elevation than the first room—as is the case with the study/bedroom in the $500 house—there is the additional esoteric benefit of being able to lie in bed and look out through windows at an evening "camp fire" in the barbecue area.

A third benefit of the Offset window section is that it allows light to enter the house from a new point of the compass. If the Uphill Patio is to the north of the house this means the Offset windows face either east or west allowing either the morning or evening sunlight to enter.

The fourth and fifth benefits to be gained by the Offset Room are balance of light and cross ventilation. The Offset Room will, of course, have its own Uphill Patio (since this is a nearly inviolable principle of design) and partial cross ventilation and balance of light may be achieved there. Both these effects will be complete when the Offset section is balanced by a Royer Foyer in the opposite corner of the room.

Photo shows wall of windows in Offset Room (author's study, $500 house) facing patio barbecue area and other parts of the Uphill Patio. Yr. author sleeps under the table in foreground to save space and to benefit from the best reading light in the house. At night he has a view out the lowest clear window to the fire in the barbecue cooking area. Translucent panels are "clear" fiberglass used both to fill awkward gaps and to allow light to enter home.

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