A typical new home today is entered through the attached garage. When that sort of structure is plunked down at random on a large rural lot, it appears to "float," with no real connection to the land. The front porch is so exposed to passing cars that it's unlikely to see more than occasional use.
A typical new home today is entered through the attached garage. When that sort of structure is plunked down at random on a large rural lot, it appears to "float," with no real connection to the land. The front porch is so exposed to passing cars that it's unlikely to see more than occasional use.

Designers sometimes use the phrase "prospect and refuge" to describe a pleasing environment that offers a good view of its surroundings while still providing a comforting sense of shelter. Our attraction to this type of setting runs deep: For most of human history, survival depended on scanning the horizon for saber-tooth tigers or raiders from an enemy tribe while staying within easy reach of a good defensive position or hiding place. The countless generations of distant ancestors who survived by doing that have passed that genetic trait down to the present day.

Or at least that's one explanation. Whatever the reason, the prospect-and-refuge model seems to strike a chord with most people. Saber-tooth tigers or not, it's a human trait that designers and builders need to respect.

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