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Aug. 17, 2019 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Architext: From the Ground Up
Desertification by development. (Supplied)

The rise and current day dominance of the tract developer has had a profound and largely negative impact on architecture. Fact is, the best ROI on a development results from maximum coverage with a few ‘cookie-cutter’ designs which can be built on a mass production model employing largely ‘function-focused’ semi-skilled labour.

This said, it is understandable that the developer’s criteria for what makes a ‘good’ design are much more akin to those of Industrial Design rather than the precepts followed by Architectural Design.

So, if you are building or renovating, just what makes for ‘good’ Architectural Design?

It begins with the site. A new home, once completed, should integrate seamlessly with its surroundings. For a stand-alone estate residence the principal consideration is landscape and topography, while for the in-fill (either one or a cluster) house(s) both the landscape and surrounding architecture must be encompassed. Good architecture is always harmonious with its setting. It complements and adds to the whole. This is not, for example, to suggest a new design set between two Georgian houses must be Georgian but rather the form, lines and elements of the new build should flow with the existing homes to produce a pleasing overall composition. Simply put, if the design dominates (or is incongruous) with the site rather than integrating with it, the architect has failed.

Over the next few columns, we’ll continue exploring principles of ‘good’ architectural design.