Page 107 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 107
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Designing appropriate buildings Windows Rhythm In dispersed rural settlements, irregular patterns of windows and a variety of sill/head levels can contribute to a more informal appearance which relates to the varied character of much of our local countryside. The position and size of window openings are vitally important to the perception of a building externally as well as its internal functionality. Historically, the building of the Region’s rural cottages was dictated by limited construc- tion technology and a need to minimise costs resulting in small openings supported by simple stone or timber lintels, with robust timber frames regularly divided into small, easily replaced panes. Externally, this com- position gives the buildings a strong, sturdy and attractive appearance which consoli- dates their place in even the most exposed locations. The small openings however limit the penetration of light into the interior and restrict ventilation. Openings on buildings within small settle- ments and villages were generally dictated Our villages are often characterised by a unified streetscape created by regular window shapes, sill levels and head by the streetscape. heights. Good infill development will respond to and build on these existing rhythms. Traditionally windows were made of painted timber which had several advantages including depth of profile, freshness of colour and the use of natural resources and crafts- manship. The designer of modern rural social housing must balance the visual advantages of high solid to void ratios and good proportions with current ventilation and daylighting requirements and affordability. Other factors to be considered include the requirement for safety glazing. An attractive traditional painted timber sliding sash Illustrations demonstrating the rhythms created by different window positions at a notional scheme within the dis- window in a cottage at Bushmills, Co.Antrim. persed rural community of Mulleek and within a more structured environment at the village of Pomeroy. 106 107
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