A new "old" house is a new home tailored for modern living but designed within the style and proportions of a traditional house. Designing and building a new home steeped in tradition is high on Build's builder bucket list. The majority of new houses lack the care and thoughtful design attributed to master craftsman of the past and instead rely on imbalanced design and cheap materials. Education and intuition is important when designing a home but there are also rules which can be applied to the process.
Architect Russell Versaci’s Eight Pillars of Traditional Design are a helpful guide and compliment Build’s philosophy of Modern & Traditional Heritage Builders which we incorporate into all of our design projects. The following are the first four pillars and examples from our own portfolio:
Pillar One: Invent Within the Rules
Stay within the rules of a style of architecture. Invent using this traditional language, especially with additions and restorations, follow the cues of the style and proportions of the existing house.
Pillar Two: Respect the Character of Place
Every geographical area has local building traditions often based on the land, climate and history of the people who migrated there, the design and materials should reflect this history.
Pillar Three: Tell a Story Over Time
Many older homes have alterations and additions that have expanded it’s size over decades. Done properly with a new build, a fabricated history can add a lot of interest to a home.
Pillar Four: Build for the Ages
We live in a transient society but there are many good reasons to “build to last” with durable materials and tested construction techniques. It saves money in the long run and is better for our environment.
Stay tuned for the Versaci's final four pillars in our next post.
Catherine Cassidy is a Designer with Build in Stratford, Ontario.
Rory McDonnell is a General Contractor, Licensed Carpenter and Architectural Designer with Build, a construction firm in Stratford, Ontario, specializing in new custom home builds and renovations.
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