This post is part of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This post takes a slight different lead from the previous ones (where the topic was proposed by Bob Borson) – in this the Topic ‘Leader’ is Brian Paletz.
…Now here’s a lucky thing; us architects in the west of Ireland don’t need to worry about style. The Local Authority (for a good many) Councils across the country have written ‘Style Guides’ for single, one-off, rural houses. The majority of my work falls into this category; or they fall into extensions to these houses which the style guides also apply to.
The ‘Bible’ that all of these style guides come from is the publication published for Cork: The Cork Rural Design Guide It was the first printed publication of its kind, written by architects and planners combined (Colin Buchanan and Mike Shanahan); it set the standard for the ideas, concepts and quality for those that followed. Now out of print but available as a pdf HERE and on the image/link below:
Three key principles of ‘West of Ireland’ style are outlined below (there are stacks more guidelines to follow but these are three key issues):
1. Narrow plan
The narrow plan is to move away from its antithesis of the ‘deep’ plans that occurred when roof truss designs allowed increased spans – the narrow depth plan at 6.5-7.5m harks back to the Irish cottage designs of earlier years. The house will then need to be broken into smaller, narrower forms in order to meet the current requirements of accommodation.
2. Window Proportions
The design guides are looking for window designs that are better proportioned. The traditional proportion of Windows to the traditional Irish cottage would have been ‘more vertical than horizontal’. The ‘panoramic’ style window that came about in the ’70’s arose from improved window construction and larger panes of glass. The design guides are looking to return to a proportion closer to the vertical golden section. The diachotomy occurs when considering increasing the glazed areas to increase solar gain on spaces facing south (northern hemisphere):
3. Low impact
Rather than cut out a chunk of land to site the house (see below); the house should be carefully sited to cause minimal visual disturbance; this includes the house not breaking the skyline:
These guides may appear to constraining but you can understand how they came about when the majority of Irish houses aren’t designed by architects. The writers of the design guides (one of whom I know reasonably well) don’t want to constrain creative, contemporary design. What they are looking for is design that follows the guideline principles of scale and proportion but also allows contemporary design:
Do I think these guidelines constrain me? No, there’s enough lee-way in the guides to encourage creativity and good design. Do I think I’ve been straight-jacketed and type-cast in the designs that I do? Equally no, our own house (which kick-started my architectural practice in Ireland) was designed using the same principles and guidelines that are in use today – years before they were published:
To read how the other ‘blogging architects’ have interpreted this theme click the links below – time to time zone differences, I’ll update this list as they come on line:
Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
The AREsketches Style
Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal
Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Name That Stile!
Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks : Style
brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
What Style Do You Build In?
Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
You do you
Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Defining an Architect’s Style
Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
What’s Your Style?
Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Should You Pick Your Architect Based on Style or Service?
Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
5 Styles of an Aspiring Architect
Kyu Young Kim – J&K Architects Atelier (@sokokyu)
Loaded With Style
Nisha Kandiah – ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Regression or Evolution : Style
Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
What’s in a Style?