Indicative House Types

Many architects reasonably believe that the way forward is to celebrate high technology and pursue other trends that interest the profession. But this approach risks losing sight of certain factors of vital importance in today’s housebuilding market. 

Major housebuilders, building societies and the house-buying public retain their attachment to the traditional and ubiquitous masonry envelope with its tiled roof. The exploitation of this established formula is likely to remain a fundamental issue. Current solutions to entice the buying public involve the application of ‘historic features’ provided for their symbolic, rather than visual, qualities. The objective should be to abandon pointless efforts and return to basic good design. 

The realisation of well detailed, harmoniously proportioned and long-lasting structures based on unambitious construction is an objective worthy of the most talented of designers. Working to such a purpose and within such parameters is a challenge that has exercised the minds of architects for centuries, and a wide variety of successful solutions have been achieved – some of which remain valid today despite the changes in our way of life. 

However, there is still room for a range of new inventions that respect the visual and technical limitations of the format while achieving a special new impact. The answer lies partly in rediscovering and exploiting old virtues such as texture and modelling, which for too long have been neglected and made more difficult to achieve by the use of poor materials. 

Given that the house envelope itself provides relatively little scope for drastic rethinking, the layout of an estate provides much greater opportunities. The process of grouping dwellings together to make attractive spaces should be the real challenge for the designer.

Scale, continuity, light, shade and surprise are essential tools of this trade. While we tend to look to the towns and villages of the past for inspiration, new circumstances should give rise to new experiences, which will provide human environments appropriate to our new lifestyles. 

The illustrations on the following pages demonstrate some of the possibilities inherent in this particular approach. They also demonstrate how it is possible to devise practicable building plans that result in built forms that assemble readily into harmonious groups and enclosing spaces.

1-Bedroom terraced houses, medium frontage, various elevations

2-Bedroom, 1½ or 2-storey house, wide frontage with separate garage

Can be built as part of a terrace.

3-Bedroom, 2- storey house with drive-through parking

Can be built as part of a terrace or as part of street composition of various house types.

1 & 2-Bedroom houses, narrow frontage, suitable for squares with small gardens or communal gardens

2-Bedroom house, wide frontage, useful for maintaining built frontage where rear privacy requires use of ‘Z’ plan (no windows to habitable rooms at first-floor level of rear elevation)

Can be built as part of a terrace, one of a pair of semi-detached houses or as part of a street composition of various house types.

Gable End Houses

3-Bedrooms, various elevations

Larger 2½ & 3- storey houses with and without integral parking. Can be built as detached houses, part of a terrace or as part of a street composition where taller buildings are required.

3-Bedroom, 2½ or 3- storey house with drive-through parking, various elevations

Can be built as part of a terrace.

3 or 5-bedroom, 2 ½- or 3-storey house with separate garages, various elevations

Can be built as part of a terrace.

4-Bedroom house with carriage arch driveway to rear garage, various street elevations

Useful for building street frontages in combination with other house types as well as for turning corners. ‘Privacy by design’ also possible as rear elevation at first-floor level can be to ‘non-habitable’ rooms. High-level windows.

4-Bedroom house with carriage arch driveway to rear garage, various street elevations

Useful for building street frontages in combination with other house types as well as for turning corners. ‘Privacy by design’ also possible as rear elevation at first-floor level can be to ‘non-habitable’ rooms. High-level windows.

1-Bedroom flats to provide 3-storey street frontage with carriage arch to rear parking


Page updated: 26/02/2018


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