Chapter 7~Rural Housing Book – Putting it all together

So let’s now put everything together over the previous chapters and see how these principles apply to two real-life projects.

The projects are proposed houses in rural Ireland, both interestingly in similar areas with a similar brief for each. One has been granted planning permission, the other is just about to be submitted:

The areas I’ll be focussing on are:

* Massing

* Relationship to site

* Thermal efficiency

* Materials

Massing

Remember the ‘rule’ is to break down the massing; The example house breaks the volumes into three distinct massing elements; the first contains is effectively the bedroom ‘wing’, the second contains the principle living areas of kitchen, dining and living. The third ‘connecting’ piece links these two larger elements together and creates a ‘nook’ space that allows other functions to happen. This ‘nook’ space is is reminiscent of the ‘The Inbetween House’ by Dominic Stevens (image below), where unplanned activities can happen in the ‘inbetween’ spaces:


All of the volumes in the example house hold the ‘narrow’ plan guidelines where the maximum front to back distance at any part of the house is less than 6 metres. Below we see the ‘working model’ of the house in question that shows how a larger mass can be broken into smaller elements:


The resulting ‘shapes’ of these massing elements are formed by their roofscape; the bedroom wing has a traditional A framed roof similar to the traditional cottages in the area (the roof is pitched at a similar angle of 45 degrees) the living wing is reminiscent of the ‘shed’ roofs and is a simple mono-pitch where the maximum height of this roof aligns with the ridge of the ‘cottage’ roof. The ‘shed’ roof creates a mezzannine where other ‘unplanned’ activities can occur. These two elements are joined by a distinct break in roofscape by a flat roof that connects the two dissparate sections together.

To be continued…

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