Back To Proportion, Balance And Scale

good proportion, balance and scale

 

I good while back I did a series of posts on proportion, scale and balance. Mine started off like this:

Despite out best intentions the traditional buildings that are being constructed today do  not always feel ‘right’. They fail in the small details- the proportion of a window, or a badly –detailed door surround or in a short-sighted choice of material.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Despite out best intentions the traditional buildings that are being constructed today do

 not always feel ‘right’. They fail in the small details- the proportion of a window, or a

 badly –detailed door surround or in a short-sighted choice of material.

 For too long we have built for today with no thought about tomorrow and what would be

 timeless and sustainable. As my friend, Steve Mouzon, would say,  “We have not only

 failed to speak a common language – the

 language of classical architecture and design – we have failed to learn the language at all.”

 The same mistakes have been repeated so often that they are now thought of as correct.

 But just as the ear recognizes the error when subjects and verbs disagree, the eye

 recognizes error when rules of architecture and design are not followed.

Even if we can’t

 explain what is wrong we know “something” doesn’t ring true.

 I have to be very careful here not to use local examples and get myself in big trouble so I am borrowing from several other sources who are saying what I want to say but using pictures from other states. Thank you Lindsay Daniel.

good.window1.brick

DO ~ Heavy millwork (mouldings) around the window is used even with brick siding, and these mouldings give the appearance of 4 supporting columns and an architrave making this window proportionally correct as well as “feel” correct.

.bad.window1.brick

DON’T ~ The Brick here can not physically or visually hold up this shaped opening as in the historical method of structure.  Proportionally the flanking windows are too wide, there is no visual column support evident, and the lack of the Architrave (or beam) makes this all look false, like it might fall down soon.   It is also missing the elegance of the real form.

Or how about this…

Shutters too wide for window

shutters too skinny for window

Please tell me that I don’t even need to comment here!

Study historical buildings to get it right.

architrave

And my personal pet peeve ( I really would get in trouble if I used pictures here so use your imagination).

If you are building a 2,500 sf house set back 50 feet from the street PLEASE do not flank the drive with giant lions.

Love the lions but they are reserved for the 30,000 sf house with the half-mile driveway.

There are some great books out there on proportion and scale.

Buy one. Choose a building to analyze and begin to train your eye.

And if you would like to say, “That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com. 

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Parents Don’t Let Your Kids Grow Up To Be……

I have a young friend who can work wonders with legos! He is not too interested in his soccer game… as a matter of fact he has been known to just lie down in the grass much to the chagrin of his Daddy. LOL But ya know what? That kid, if encouraged in his natural giftings, could be a darn good architect or engineer one day. He might be designing soccer stadiums! I just made an amazing discovery that I am going to tell his Mama about. It’s Lego’s Architect series. Do you know about this?????

Apparently there is a guy named

Adam Reed Tucker

 who…

 well… I’ll just let him tell you in his own words,

“As an Architectural Artist my desire is to capture the essence of a particular architectural landmark into its pure sculptural form. I first and foremost do not view my models as literal replicas, but rather my own artistic interpretations through the use of LEGO® bricks as a medium. The LEGO brick is not initially thought of as a material typically used in creating art or used as an artist’s medium. I quickly discovered the LEGO brick was lending itself as naturally to my applications as paint to a painter or metal to a blacksmith. As I explore how to capture these buildings with the basic shapes of the bricks and plates, I find the possibilities and challenges they offer almost magical.” – Adam Reed Tucker

He has an entire collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures on the market. Here is a sampling:

This is my personal favorite Wright house, Falling Water.

And here is the Lego version

Then there is Farnsworth House

And Farnsworth House Legos

Then there’s the Guggenheim Museum

And the Lego Guggenheim

And the newest:

        LEGO Architecture has released their latest creation, a LEGO Frank Lloyd Wright 1908 Robie House, one of Wright’s most famous prairie-style homes located in Chicago’s Hyde Park. The LEGO version is made up of 2,276 pieces. For $199, the kit comes with step-by-step instructions that include historical information about the iconic structure and architect.

Each LEGO Architecture set contains a booklet featuring step-by-step building instructions that is prefaced by exclusive, archival history, information and photographs of each iconic building, its design origin, its architect and its architectural features. 

 

 

You will have to go to Lego’s site to see the unveiling! How cool is that?

 I will be keeping a sharp eye on my two little ones to see if they show signs of needing a “toy” like this in their future. What a great way to teach!

Happy Building.

And if you would like to say,”That was fun!” at the end of your project

contact me at www.cindybarganier.com.

 

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Great Small House Plans

I got a new subscriber yesterday ( who needs to add their name to their profile so that I can thank them properly LOL). In trying to determine what kind of blog they write I ran across a link that had been shared and I found it fascinating.  I don’t normally just re-post something but it was so appropriate for the times that we live in I just had to share.

Perhaps it caught my eye because we live in a bungalow or perhaps it’s because I have been thinking so much recently about how expensive square footage is and longing to design  the ideal smaller house; whatever the reason I loved the post.

Here it is:

“Today I would like to highlight a series of projects submitted in 1911(ish) to the “Brickbuilder”, an early 20th Century trade publication.  Having sponsored a nation wide competition, the publication received over 650 submissions from around the country.  The 100 top entries were published in 1912 in a catalog distributed by the Brickbuilder, and have been republished in a book called 100 Turn of the Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans.  There were two requirements for entry, first the bungalow had to be built of brick, and second it had to come in at a cost of $3000 or less. ( A comment on this post said that According to Wolfram Alpha $3000 in 1911 is the equivalent of $71,995.11 in 2011.) I love these projects for their simplicity but even more so because of Brickbuilder’s attempt to make the resulting projects affordable by keeping the cost requirements low.  Why aren’t we designing and building things today with the same spirit if not the same form?

Design By Leo N. Denler, Buffalo, NY
Design by M. A. Ward; Chicago, IL.
Design By HArry F.C. Mennecke; NY, NY
Design By Wetherill P. Trout; Philadelphia, PA
Design By J.H. Taylor; Montreal, Que., Canada
Design By Harold Field Kellogg; Boston, MA
Design BY Henry W. Hall & Hugo K. Graf; St. Louis, MO.
Design By George C. Crockett; NY, NY.
Design By J. Theodore Hanemann; NY, NY.

All images in this post are from the library of CJ Builds LLC.  The following resource was used for this post:

100 Turn-Of-The-Century Brick Bungalows with Floor Plans::  Rogers & Manson; Dover Publications, INC.  1994

I hope that you found this enjoyable.

If you need help planning YOUR perfect bungalow contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com.

 

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Another Historic Treasure

Just days after I posted about the historic Gay House (here) a friend started talking about another amazing old house in Montgomery that hubby and I actually looked at a lifetime ago, the Winter House.

The story goes that there is a tunnel that was used to escape Wilson’s raiders that leads from the basement to the river.

 The old grainy photo is from some ancient files that I dug up but take some time to examine this glorious structure. Notice the unusual balustrade around the porch and the trim detail between the columns. It looks like a key hole. See it? I love that charming little window over the front door. Steve Mouzon you need to jump in here with some more interesting info on this house.

 And speaking of front doors does it get any better than this? I want them.

 I know. It makes me cry also. Check out those corbels. How many must there be in all????? And by the way this is how shutters are SUPPOSED to be used. Have you ever seen the vinyl version that some builder stuck on a building BACKWARDS!  Please.

Love, love, love those fish scale shingles and that awesome window.

Southern Accents you might be headed back to town.

If you want to say, That was fun!” at the end of your project contact me at

www.cindybarganier.com.

 

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