Highland Heights, Ithaca, New York
The famous astronomer, Carl Sagan, and his even more famous, artist wife, Linda, sought an elegant yet simple house nestled on the side of a hill with impressive views west over Cayuga Lake. The couple had an active social agenda, frequently entertaining students and visitors.
The opening line of their statement to the architect declared that “the kitchen should be in the living room,” suggesting that the social gatherings centered around cooking, eating, and intense discussions. Though hardly “rustic” when compared to others, such as the Sproull House or the Rosefsky Summer House, it fits the same general compositional format:
• Simple masonry exterior shell, this time a low frontal wall that forms the edge of a plinth, piling up into the masses of volumes at the rear where bedrooms and bathrooms were to be located
• Shed roof
• A sustained dialogue between heavy and light systems of construction, open and closed spatial readings, front and back distinctions through zoning of the plan.