I saw this one in Solihull on a client visit. The black timber and basket weave brickwork creates a nice pattern around the entrance but I most like the roofs and windows. Here we have, from left to right oriels (windows that hang out there outside the wall line) a tall leaded glass portrait window to the entrance-and-stairs hallway (which breaks the floor line to show you that it lights the stairs), then a stone window with dormer above and then a pair of bays – tall at the bottom, short at the top. Going back to the black painted garage doors are four lovely diamond windows. So, a nice selection. Now onto the roofs. We can see at first glance a lot of roofy action – gables, hips at different heights and a dropped eaves at the little dormer window. Look again and the builders have been a bit smart and they have kept the roof lines running throughout for both the main roof and the gables – whoever designed this knew that they would be asked to draw up the rafter plan and set the pitches. The gables are achieved by stepping forward a section of wall to form a bay and the rafters built up off the side walls – but look how low the roof comes down over the stairs – he doesn’t need the headroom of a first floor room. He brings forward another bay for the porch – but the top gable roof runs all the way down to the porch wall – you try it on your next project! the dropped eaves above the basket weave is usually achieved by stepping forward the wall so that the roof reaches down further to reach it (or rather comes up from a lower level). You can see a little return wall in the bay. The house plan – what we can see of it – is a long rectangle with just a couple of bays at the front to create interest – but the builder has done a lot with what he has here. Good job!
The client of this scheme has a small house with small rooms and now, a small family. He and she want a large family room where “everything happens”. We can go back 4 metres under permitted development because it is a detached house, so we get space for an open plan kitchen with a little island facing onto a sunny dining area with folding sliding doors to the garden. We can keep living room 2 as a snug sitting area – but I think they might end up with the table round the corner and toys spread out on a rug by the window.
The space is quite big and a bit raggedy for my liking on the ground floor, so I wasn’t really happy to have a flat ceiling throughout. We are using a bit steel anyway to support the external wall at the first floor above the new opening, so I have opted for a double pitched roof over the new extension. This will articulate the space (that’s show or say the idea – in this case the idea of the room as a space with distinct parts. I am not super keen on architect-speak) and give a nice feeing of entry and arrival when we come in through the door from the hall. Why? Because inside we will get two vaults (sloping ceilings going up) with roof lights facing south and north. A bit more air, a bit more light – nice.
Notice that the height of the roof is not too tall – we don’t want to bump into the bedroom windows. For the elevation, we get two gables – so much nicer than a horizontal line. You can also get an idea of how it feels to look up, or to sit down or roll around, with all that air above you. Nice project, I am happy!
Check out this baby! Lots of roof, lots of gable. She steps right forwards and drops down to the entrance. Look at the outside and you can almost see the entrance hall – under the lamp, press on the oak, through the big door frame and you are in the space between the structural wall seen upstairs and the thick wall with the fireplace making up the living room. Your very own baronial hall on a tiny scale. Bet the stairs are nice too. With Arts and Crafts everything needs to have character and be part of a romantic story. Look at the tiny windows below the big eaves to the right. Says hallway to me. Look at the windows on the end gable. That loft room surely has exposed beams like Anne Hathaway’s cottage. What about the diamond in the top of the street front gable. If there’s a room for writing a secret letter you have just found it. Now get on the horse and ride like the wind!
More Joy of Gables
A band of blue bricks, laid at 45 degrees, make a string of notches.