A unique characteristic of the new house will be its sunken. The existing house is on an elevation 3 ft. higher than the sidewalk. However soil tests and the geotechnical report recommended that the top 3 ft. of the soil be graded. The architect turned this negative into a positive. The new house will appear less imposing on the land by being sunk-in, that is house will be on the same elevation as the sidewalk and 3 ft. lower than the adjacent houses. The bottom 3 ft. of the external walls will be surrounded by soil. Even the back yard will be sunk-in.
The surrounding houses are one-story, ours will have a small 2nd story that houses the master bedroom. By being sunk-in, the new house won’t appear to tower over the other houses in the neighborhood. It also helps to give the house a sense of mystery.