Design, Aesthetic, and Rules . . .

There are very few rules that apply to general house design, and even less to aesthetic, but it is safe to say that the two fundamental following ones should be kept in mind at all times when designing a house:

  • Symmetry is the aesthetic rule that should govern not only the design of the facade, but also the layout of the floor plan, and whenever possible, the design of any structural or non structural components, because making useful things look good quite often doesn't cost more than making them look average !
  • In any traditionally-built house, there is a genuine purpose in any component of the design, any technic and material used. For example house around the Mediterranean sea are painted in white or light colours so as to reflect heat, instead of absorbing it. That's why under Australia's scorching sun slate roofs should be avoided. Slate were imported to Australia 'en masse' at the time England used to source a lot of timber from its new colony, as a ballast for empty vessels sailing Down Under, which is certainly not a genuine building purpose. On a hot summer day, roof slates can exceed 70 Celsius degrees. On top of that, they are prone to condensation on the underside in winter, they are too brittle and require a pitch too steep to easily walk on, making them not very suitable for solar panels or hot water systems. On the other hand, terracotta roof tiles are made in Australia, and are far better suited to hot climate conditions than slates.