Design Guide for Rural Northern Ireland
Scheme Design: Rural Elevation and Details
When the designer has arrived at a basic arrangement of building blocks on the site, or the site layout, the design process can carry on to finer considerations, including the elevational treatment, which deals with the pattern of windows and doors, the choice of material and colour.
With a rectangular plan form, the overall shape of the building will have a horizontal emphasis especially if it is a single storey dwelling. This emphasis can be balanced by a vertical proportion to window and door openings and by chimneys.
A common feature of badly designed schemes is the attempt to enliven a dull layout and standard blocks with the random addition of architectural bric-a-brac, which shows a lack of response to the rural setting and should be avoided.
Simplicity of elevations is a familiar characteristic of rural buildings and modern schemes should retain this. Where 'add-on' elements such as dormers or porches are part of the design they should be sparingly used.
Large flat roofed, or numerous poorly proportioned dormer windows, are not acceptable.
A common feature of traditional rural buildings is that there are few windows and doors, so that walling is the dominant image. This ratio of solid is a basic part of the rural scene and contemporary designers should respect this image.
Inappropriate solid: void ratio. Inappropriate proportion to opening in dormer.
More appropriate solid: void ratio.