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My family owns a plot of land on the top of a hill. AT the bottom of the hill is a lake. Between the plot and the lake is a house that completely blocks the lake view. However, it is only 10 or 15 feet too high for a view.

What I want to achieve is something like a picture window that conveys the view from 15 feet higher than the living space.

I started by picturing a house on stilts. The county building code makes this impossible.

So lately I have been imagining something more like a window-sized periscope, possibly with mylar mirrors. However, I think to do a good job of this at least cost would require more ingenuity and knowledge of optics than I have. What would be a good way of doing this? I can use curved mirrors. Or freznel lenses. Whether I can do this or not, with a good image at sane cost, is the deciding factor on whether I build a house on this currently unoccupied lot that my family owns. So it's a big deal, at least to me. I would like to retire there. I have learned that the lake view is conducive to my peace of mind and mental health. I hope this is a challenging and amusing problem.

A quick Google search on "periscope window" shows that there are a lot of people interested in this question and a few who have tried to build one, though I have not seen anyone else who has tried to displace the view as much as I wish to. The more typical project just wants the view to face in a different direction.

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    $\begingroup$ If you cant build a house on stilts, can you build a multi story house, or set up the roof of the house high enough that you could make a patio on the roof to enjoy the view? or a pent house room that could enjoy the view? $\endgroup$
    – Forward Ed
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Once you have a big enough turret on the house to have done a fair job of it, you've got a big enough turret that you can just install a stairway up to a viewing room. Put a bar up there, and maybe leave enough room for an elevator shaft in case you or a loved one gets infirm in their old age and still wants to go up there. $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @ForwardEd. I know from previous proposals of mine that the other side of the family is very averse to anything with appreciable visual impact. I believe that a treehouse, set slightly back from the road. and painted the proper color, will be nearly invisible. $\endgroup$
    – andrewH
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 2:51

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With a periscope you will be looking at the view through a 20' tube and the view would only be visible from right in front of the tube end. With lenses you could back-project onto a screen but there would be loss of light intensity and ambient light would reduce contrast greatly.

A video feed to a large monitor would be a lot simpler and might work psychologically. What will the neighbours think?

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