Homes stick with gentle support when these architectural columns lift them off the ground
Bud Dietrich, AIA January 1, 2000
Houzz Contributor. My name is Bud Dietrich and I am an architect located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I am licensed to practice architecture in Illinois, Florida, New Jersey & Wisconsin. Since 1996 I have worked from my home office and provide full architectural services exclusively to the single family residential market. My passion is to transform my clients' houses into their homes. I strive to have the "new" home accommodate my clients' lives without fighting them at every junction. I look to add curb appeal to encourage a beautiful streetscape. And I design any addition to look and feel like it has always been there. Our projects have won numerous design awards as well as having been featured on television (CBS News Sunday Morning, HGTV, CLTV, etc.), in magazines (Better Homes...
Houzz Contributor. My name is Bud Dietrich and I am an architect located in the Tampa... More
A piloti is a particular type of thin column that supports a building by lifting the building above the ground plane. A building constructed using pilotis tends to be visually light and have a transient quality, because the pilotis lift up the main architectural form, allowing an open ground level. In a sense the building seemingly hovers above the landscape.
The most famous example of pilotis used in a home is at the Villa Savoye near Paris. The main volume of the home is lifted up and off the ground, allowing a car to pass below.
Not just for dry land, pilotis are also used to lift a home above a body of water. This use has been around for centuries; it is a common building practice for indigenous peoples living at a water's edge.
Because pilotis provide points of support in lieu of larger linear systems, their use as a foundation for a house ensures that the structure has the least impact on the existing terrain. The house simply and gently touches the ground in a few spots only.
While pilotis are generally arrayed in a regular grid pattern to create an efficient structure, they don't have to be. The pilotis can blend with a surrounding woodland, for example, and fade into the overall pattern of tree trunks and branches.
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