David Baker, 63, an architect whose Washington home, the Solar-Space House, made building history here in 1952, died of cancer Thursday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
The Northeast dwelling, designed for economical heating and cooling, featured a continuous window strip oriented to the seasonal height of the sun and rooms zoned according to the position of the sun during the day and the seasons. The house's mechanical plant is thermostatically controlled to coordinate its energy to the sun's rays.
In 1953, a year after the house was built, the maximum cost of heating in the coldest weather was $2 per day. Cooling the house in the hottest weather was less than $1 per day.
Although figures for present-day heating and cooling costs were not available, a family spokesman said the design has remained economical, particularly in hot weather.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Baker studied with the world-renowned architect Miles Van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor's degree. He also studied with the noted land planner, Walter Gropius, at Harvard University, where he earned a master's degree in architecture.
Mr. Baker came to Washington to work for the Department of the Navy during World War II. After the war, he established a private architectural practice in his Washington home.
He designed many local commerical structures and private residences, including the Giant Food Distribution Center at Landover and the Jelleff's store at Seven Corners, which earned him an award from the city of Falls Church in 1966.
Mr. Baker received the Hutchinson Medal of the Chicago Art Institute for achievement in architecture.
Survivors include his wife, Beverly B., of Washington: two sons, Jonathan B. of Palo Alto, Calif., and Stuart G., of Cambridge, Mass., and a brother, Emanuel, of Ridgecrest, Calif.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice.