Page 105 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 105
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Designing appropriate buildings Dormer windows and skylights dormer window options Dormers should be a minor incident within the roofs, no wider than that necessary to accommodate a 1m window, and certainly not wider than They should be located at Although additional half storeys were common particularly in the rural Ulster vernacular, dormer windows were not a the ground floor elements. least 3/4 of their width from widespread feature. Single storey rural cottages were generally enlarged either by adding single storey ancillary wings or Roof pitches should be the the main roof verge, and slightly raising the roof of the main building to enable the insertion of a first floor. Small windows were often inserted within same as the main roof. generally centre with ground the gable walls or at a low level on the front or rear elevation. Within our villages and small settlements, dormer windows level openings. were sparingly used, sometimes set into the slope of the roof. Projection and location away Within our rural landscapes and villages it is appropriate to respect the context and reduce the bulk and scale of new from the exterior wall can be dwellings. A compromise can be the construction of “storey and a half” dwellings to provide the desired floor space as acceptable. They should normally an alternative to “full two storey” dwellings. Dormer windows and skylights are a particularly useful architectural element be finished in a contrasting material in achieving this aim whilst providing adequate daylight, ventilation and means of escape to the rooms they serve. Like i.e. timber or slate but not uPVC. chimneys, dormer windows provide character, add visual interest and punctuation to the horizontal forms of the main roof structure and reduce the building’s perceived mass and scale. A proliferation of dormers on a single or group of buildings can however, be detrimental to the overall streetscape making it “over fussy”. Where it is important to maintain an uninterrupted roof line, rooflights are an alternative to dormer windows. In the social housing context the designer needs to carefully consider their use due to design challenges such as appropriate handle heights and fenestration. skylights Affordable housing scheme at Isle of Gigha, Scotland by CP Architects for Fyne Homes, demonstrating contrasting A contemporary dormer window on a dwelling at a notional scheme at Moneydig, Co.L’Derry. This feature is de- solutions between the vernacular and contemporary, enabling daylight to penetrate “the room in the attic”. signed to replicate a high level door which could often be found on barns throughout rural Ulster. 104 105
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