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Thread: Architectural style specific design standards

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Architectural style specific design standards

    Does anyone know of any good resources on Design standards that are focused? I do not just mean regular design standards, but standards that look to keep a specific historical character, or create one?

    I am specifically looking for English Tudor architectural standards. I know it is somewhat vague, but I am trying to gather some information as to whether such a thing is even legal, let alone doable.

    Do such regulations require certain architectural elements, or do they allow flexibility in terms of design, but disallows certain characteristics? The historic character of the proposed area is not currently English Tudor. I am having issues with whether this is even plausible.....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I don't know how much this can help, but in my opinion architectural design standards should be quantitative; that is, it breaks down the elements of a style or desired outcome using specific materials lists and qualities that are easily measured. I advise communities that they may have problems with architectural design regulations when they just name particular styles of architecture without offering many details.

    Take Tudor, for instance. Here's a traditional Tudor mansion.



    Here's "Tudor" as I've seen the style described for residential development in post-WWII suburban North America.



    Two quite different things (stone versus half timber and stucco), both considered "Tudor"

    Architectural design regulations are legal in most cases, but make sure they can't be interpreted or administered arbitrarily. That's why I always emphasize the point "make it quantitative!"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Mastiff's town has design standards specific to the Cascadian or Northwest Rustic style; if he responds he would be able to give you more info. Leavenworth, Washington has standards requiring a Bavarian mountain village style, as does, I think, Ojai, California. Or is it Solvang? Coral Gables, Florida has standards requiring Mediterranean style. I think Santa Fe, New Mexico has standards requiring whatever they call their southwest adobe style.

    I don't know of any Tudor style requirements.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    For those interested in controlling architectural "style," I recommend that they watch the movie "The Architects."

    It is a German movie with simple easy to understand English subtitles. It takes place in East Germany just before the fall of the Wall. It is about the struggles of a few architects to overcome the stilted formulated life-less forms dictated by the "State."

    There are even a few shots of the results of massive building projects created by the state for "affordable housing."

    Let the developers decide if they want "Tudor" or "Adobe" or "Mediterranian" or "Rustic" or "Bavarian" for their locale. Let home owners decide what style they want for their own homes. Just make sure there is plenty of space between houses so that there is room for major trees and separation between possible architectural design incompatability when placed next to each other.

    And, yes there is good architecture, and there is not so good architecture - but it is up to the owner (in a free society) to make the decision as to what best meets his needs - IMHO it is not the responsibility of the Planning Profession. (Safety regulations and prevention of overcrowding - health, light, and air, yes).

    As Dan has pointed out in his photos above, architectural "style" has evolved so much over the years, that it is hard to say, "this complies, but this does not." You are inviting unnecessary hardship and workload on your office if you try.

    Just my recommendation.

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Just a side note... this is not my idea, I personally don't endorse it, but as an employee.... I must do what I am told by the higher ups. I just wanted information as to how others have gone about doing it.

    I agree with Dan on the differences in terms of specific architecture. I like the idea of making it quantitative.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you want to be specific regarding an appropriate style, I might suggest taking the approach of adopting a pattern book rather than a design guideline.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    I can sympathize with Streck's libertarian take but one issue with real estate is that what I do in my lot affects the value of the lot next door.

    An area that has a strong design character can lose value, presumably, if it becomes watered down. Just something to think about.

    As for definitions of 'Tudor' style in terms of something legally enforceable... good luck!! *

    Tudor buildings (a definition that perforce must reference British buildings) come in many different forms, even vernacular ones, of which the half-timbered, wattle-and-daub style is just one type. I would think, that one is a style that does not scale too well beyond a certain height/footprint.

    Tudor-style stone or brick scale quite well.

    Functionally, Tudor is a very evolved medieval, simplified gothic style and derives from the fact that the renaissance got to the UK about 200-300 years after continental Europe.

    * = At a minimum you could specify:
    > Sharply sloped roofs (1.x:1) with overhanging eaves.
    > Slate, slat, tile or xxx roof cover
    > Casemented windows with generally smaller windows and lower ceiling height in higher stories
    > Masonry or half-timbered construction
    > No (visible) concrete or metal
    > No neoclassical detailing
    > No picture windows
    > Mandatory (typically stepped rectangular or rectangular section chimneystack as a compositional feature.
    I'm sure someone like Stern could do an infinitely better job at this...
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    I got an ok from a Cyburbia Administrator to mention a very convenient way to see the movie, "The Architects" since it is now almost 20 years old.

    I found it on Netflix, a mail order DVD video company that even lets you see it (and other movies) on your computer for free - if you purchase a minimum $5 per month subscription (can cancel anytime).

    I am not connected with Netflix in anyway, just passing on image info to Cyburbia re pretty bad "affordable housing" under state control of design and density in East Germany.

    Important for Cyburbians to see images.
    Last edited by Streck; 13 Mar 2008 at 10:48 AM. Reason: added word "DVD"

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