The spaces around the house Print

Design Outcome

Design Checklist

  1. The house is located and designed to create quality private open spaces 
  2. There is convenient and safe access to the house
  3. Private open spaces are clearly defined and differentiated from publicly accessible spaces
It is important to consider the spaces around the house when locating the building on the site. Good design ensures these are 'designed in' and useful rather than left over.

There should be a clear definition of the different spaces around the house. The front of the house should face the street where possible, with an entrance that is accessible to the public. Meanwhile, the back of the house should be clearly private. Being close to the street enables residents to see what is happening in their local community, and helps to keep the street safe. It also maximises the amount of private open space behind the house.

Good design should also consider any level changes between the street, the front of the house and the rear yard; and how to make the house accessible to as many people as possible. Level access can be easy to achieve if it is included in the design process, but is very hard to retrofit later. Therefore it is important to consider this at the beginning of the design process.

Better Design Practice

All housing should have the following: 
  • A public front that faces the street, as well as public open space or public access (e.g. a driveway); 
  • A private space between the house and the street that provides access to the front door (e.g. a front yard); 
  • Private open space away from the street that can be secured, is not overlooked by neighbours and is connected to the living or dining room; 
  • Driveway access, or access to parking which does not impact on the quality of the street or the spaces on the site (see Accommodating the car); and 
  • Service areas that are screened from the public, and secure.

Consider the universal design principles (see The Building) when placing the house, in particular whether or not level access can be achieved from the street.
This depends on site topography, and street level relative to the finished floor level of the house. Level access from a car park to the door should be provided wherever possible. If it is not possible, the design should allow for this to be achieved at a later date. 

‚ÄčAll of the elements above must be considered together when siting the house. Further detail on each element is provided in subsequent sections.

Rules of Thumb

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