The volume and siting of my house will be determined by its context. These are the elements of context that are most important (not the materials or surface details, for example). My immediate neighbors are one and one and one-half story homes from the early twentieth century (see photos, below, of Donnelly Street denizens). The floorplans are roughly rectangular and, as is typical in older American cities, a narrow side faces the street.
The house occupies almost the same footprint as the neighbor to the south and will be set-back as far from the street (see drawing, left). My house will be smaller than the neighbor's. Part of the "footprint" will be negative space, areas defined through an imagined extension of the planes of the building to the lines where they intersect. The negative space facing the street will be part of a public "court" (formed with the neighbor's wall). A negative space towards the back will be walled and form an interior, open-air court for the bedroom.