Integrated building façades Print

Design Outcome

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. Buildings demonstrate a high architectural quality including visual richness and coherence 
  2. The terrace building makes a positive contribution to the existing or desired future street character, and to the public realm
​​​​​​​​​​The façade design will arise, in part, from the building massing. To achieve visual richness and help viewers 'read' the building and the activity within, the design should reflect the different parts of the building and clearly define the individual houses within the row. 

The building will usually comprise of a principal façade that addresses the adjacent street. That façade should be visible and attractive and should enhance the existing character of the local area or street context. However when a building is exposed to public view on all sides all visible parts of its faç​ades should be carefully designed.​

Better Design Practice

Ensure the façade displays an appropriate scale, rhythm and proportion through a hierarchical arrangement of elements. The façade should achieve this by: 
  • Avoiding monotonous repetition of the same unit.
  • Having dimensions appropriate to the scale of the building and adjoining development.
  • Establishing vertical and horizontal lines and modules with features such as party walls, exposed downpipes, setbacks, string courses, cornices, balconies, eaves lines and door or window heads.
  • Clearly defining building entries. 
  • Incorporating a well-proportioned solid-to-void ratio of openings along the faç​ade.

Elevations should be designed to express aspects of the building such as internal spaces, front and back, entrance and orientation to sun and views. Each house in the row should be well defined and expressed as a separate entity from the neighbouring adjoining house. It is important to understand any locally relevant or important character, and the design will either directly reference or contrast with this. The right response will depend on the context and design, however mimicking, or a pastiche, of character is never a good design response. Integrate façade depth and shadow casting detail, including projecting elements, setbacks and expression of window reveals, to give visual richness and interest.

Coordinate details and integrate building service elements, such as drainage pipes, grilles, screens, ventilation louvres and garage doors into the overall façade. Consider the position and attachment details of fixtures such as TV aerials and sky dishes in the early design stages. Incorporating equipment to be shared by all occupants will avoid duplication by individual occupants. 

Incorporate elements such as sun shades, screens, fins and blades to control the admittance of sunlight where required. Consider façade arrangements that use a hierarchy, or layers, of elements. Display a simple rhythm and coherent logic in the design and materials of all façades. 

Ensure the different elevations or faç​ades respond to their particular orientation for optimal access to sunlight. Integrate any required signage into the façade design.

Rules of Thumb

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