There’s an old saying from a marketing pioneer named John Wanamaker that goes like this:
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
We started with an agreement about what parts of the design couldn’t
change. When we first challenged John, the architect, to reduce overall costs, we told him we would not compromise on the view and we were all in agreement. Our attachment to this part of the design was, in part, personal.
Usually, when a house has a view, there is a deck with a railing. The railing tends to obstruct the view, but it has to be there. Some homeowners use glass panels to make it less obvious. Still, when you’re sitting on the deck, the railing is in the way.
This is especially true in our design. Most of our time would be spent in the “great room” which has a kitchen, living space and dining space. The west wall of the room faces the water and will be floor to ceiling glass doors. The view through those doors
is the one feature we had to get right.
Early in planning, Sachi decided there must be some way to hide the railings and maximize the view. Being 250 above sea level, we would look downward, through the railings, to the water.
The solution she proposed was a two level deck. The upper deck would be level with the house’s floor. That deck would extend out, and then drop 30 inches, which, according to county building code, doesn’t require a railing. Then, the lower deck would sport the required railings. Stairs on both ends of the upper deck would provide access to the lower deck.