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Return of the Breezeway: A Morphology of Indoor-Outdoor Space

Houses are like animals. They have their own morphology: They adaped and changed and developed new traits over long periods of evolution.

old breezeway

As a concession to warm summer days like today, for example, the traditional home took on back porches, sleeping porches, screen porches and patios. The traditional home of Victorian vintage often included breezeways (above), an open area between two structures used as a seasonal indoor-outdoor living area.

louver

Modernism was like a reset button: it erased everything that came before and began from scratch. But in the 80 years or so since modernism took hold, many of those earlier features have reappeared in new forms because they make practical sense. The old-fashioned breezeway, for example, has made a comeback in structures like the Louver House (above) by Leroy Street Studio. For whatever reason, the new breezeways seem to occur only in big rectangular houses like this one; they tend to look like monopoly pieces with a hole punched in them.

Read more of Michael Cannell’s blog

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