Good and Poor Housing Design

I have touched on the standards of modern housing design in previous blogs and thought I would say a little bit more.

If the pattern book designs of many volume house builders are based on poor pastiches of ‘vernacular’ styles (often with little or no reference to the local vernacular – it seems to be amalgam of I am not sure what), with poor scale and proportions, would we be better off going the whole hog and just copying old homes?  I am not talking about the internal layouts, nor things such as floor-to-ceiling heights and services etc but just the external look.

Instead of miss-scaled windows and non-functional dormers, if ‘we’ can’t design nice looking modern looking homes, should we just copy something like this?:


Of course I am not really saying that we should be building masses of new homes which are just copies of homes which were built over 100 years ago but, if the best that too many of the volume builders can do is what I have blogged about earlier, perhaps we might be better off doing just that.

However, it would be much better if we did build homes which look good and work well; are flexible into the future and look of their time such as these from the 1970s or 1980s


Why can’t we have more houses built which are like this?:


And if this is too daring for too many people (goodness knows why) , we can do much better by just using well proportioned and designed windows and keeping things simple such as this:


I have not tried to present a closely argued discourse on architecture here, but want to just explore a few thoughts on what we could be doing with our house building rather than what is too often produced today. I am not asking for architectural tricks which cost money but simple, honest, design which costs no more to deliver. A simple, well proportioned, box must be cheaper to build that adding numerous non-functioning dormers – and well proportioned windows can’t be any more expensive than those which are not.

In many ways I am being simplistic but, come on, we really can do better.


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2 Responses to Good and Poor Housing Design

  1. Colin Ferguson says:

    I love the 1970s red brick houses in the second photo down. Any idea what/where they are? Looks very much like a low-rise version of Lillington Gardens.

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