There’s a good reason your life coach tells you to “bring down your walls.” It opens your mind, gives more breathing room and helps create a feeling of continuity. The same applies for architecture. Homeowners opting for fewer walls, floor-to-ceiling glass surfaces and wide-open spaces can bring in more light, make small areas look expansive and meld the living room with the backyard.
More home buyers are striving to capture better views and “more of an indoor-outdoor relationship” with their homes and the environment, according to Utah-based architect Clive Bridgwater. Take, for example, the award-winning 9,000-square-foot abode Bridgwater designed with dramatic views of the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains. Instead of duplicating all the elements of a two-tier great room outside, Bridgwater employed new technologies that made it possible for a 30-foot stretch of wall to fold into a corner and seemingly disappear, instantly creating an outdoor living room. During the summer, an equivalent room below opens to the pool area and lawn.
Bringing the outside in and the inside out—even fleetingly—can make a house feel like an open-air paradise. Brazilian architect Rafael Palatano says the tropical beach site of his largely wall-free “Leaf House” outside Rio De Janeiro is “a pleasure enhancer of experiencing that specific nature.”
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