Alex Coppock

The layout of space: elevations

by 9th Nov, 2018

The layout of your interior spaces will impose a routine on everyone who lives there so it is important to ensure the routine you create is life giving, easy and beneficial.

Every home and every person’s routine is different but we find there are some set routines that we find resonate with most people and which can be used to start thinking about the plan of the house.

In this series of eight articles, we’ll take a look at some of the spaces in the home, their relationship to each other and what their design needs to consider.

In this last article we’ll look at a building’s elevation.

Where the plan of a building can always have a basis in rationality in terms of size, space, order and relationship, what a building looks like is much more of an aesthetic choice.

People tend to start to consider the elevations once they have a plan. However, there is always a direct relationship between a plan and an elevation. Therefore, while you have to have one eye on the site, spaces and relationships, you should always be developing a vision of what the building will look like at the same time so the two can be in harmony. If you do not do this the overall result may be highly functional, but have little aesthetic value, which may not bring you the pleasure you would like to gain nor accord with the planning policy that buildings are always governed by.

Therefore, some of the hardest work to be done within the building design is in terms of the elevation. In the same way in which a plan needs a strategy to address the way a building works and experiences its landscape, an elevation needs a strategy in terms of how the building is going to represent itself to the world and how it will be known.

There are many styles of architecture associated with previous historic periods and using these as a starting point can be useful to a certain degree. In different periods of architecture, Gothic, for example, the plan has dominated the elevation. By contrast, in strict Georgian or Palladian architecture, the elevation has dominated the plan. Both approaches can give extremely beautiful and successful architecture. However, it is in the resolution of these two areas that the success or otherwise of the project can be seen.