Homes are generally thought of as enclosed spaces that keep individuals and families protected from natural elements and unwanted intrusion. They’re regarded as private enclaves that provide comfort and security.
Homes, however, are rarely solitary. They exist in rows or as blocks with other residential structures to form a harmonious landscape. Recent design trends of indoor and outdoor living also reflect a growing preference for homes as communal environments. Contemporary architectural designs feature a seamless transition of private and public space within and extend wider outdoors. Newer homes not only fit personal preferences but fit a larger social context.
Blending Home And Community
Families, individuals, and even building professionals can build a home that blends into a particular community with the following principles:
Utilize Community Character
A little history lesson can help builders understand the community in which they’re building. They can walk around the neighbourhood to observe the design and structure of existing buildings, and use them as inspiration for their project. The new home doesn’t stand as a stark contrast but rather a modern and seamless fit to the streetscape.
Home styles in Australia are a fitting example. Older residences reflect British influences and adaptations based on climatic concerns and cultural identity. In local settings such as Perth, most structures display post-war, late 20th century, and contemporary Australian architectural styles.
When building homes in Perth and other areas of Australia, building professionals such as “willing property” use historical insight to align their design to the community’s existing character. They plan how building height, form, materials, and construction can resonate with the local lifestyle and values.
Understand Local Building Laws
Local building laws guide new construction to maintain local character. They protect the community’s heritage and ensure that new homes conform to basic guidelines to preserve their cultural identity. Some common building laws include fencing regulations,
Areas declared as State Heritage Areas may even require additional conditions before building permits are issued. Builders must be knowledgeable about applicable building codes and local regulations to obtain consent and licenses.
Apply Streetscape Principles
Streetscape refers to the ability of buildings, walkways, and gardens to facilitate interaction among residents. Frequent and amiable neighbour contacts are crucial to community building and fostering unity among residents.
Blending new homes into an existing streetscape requires homes to face streets, parks, and other open spaces. This allows easy access to and from the road and into public gathering areas. Front doors should be visible from the street, with some shade and lighting.
When designing multi-storey homes, designers normally locate balconies in areas that don’t overlook the neighbour’s living room. Also, the location of windows should be in strategic places to enable passive surveillance. Being able to see the street from a front or upstairs window helps owners feel secure and, at the same time, provides a vantage point to deter crime.
Regarding landscape, home designs can include low front fencing combined with visually permeable materials to make a more pleasant streetscape. You can also use shrubs and trees for effective screening and still get a good view of the street.
If you’re planning to build a home in a community with an existing historical character, stone walls can serve as front yard fencing. You can also use modern materials to resemble older furnishings present in the area.
Combine Personal Preferences And Community Character
Often, residents desire homes to reflect their taste. Builders can accommodate their preferences and combine them with certain aspects of the community into the design. This demonstrates a balance between safety and openness, personality, and community spirit. For example, builders can use the same roofing material other homes in the neighbourhood use but paint it in a complementary roof colour to make it part of a cohesive landscape. They can also use materials such as concrete to resemble old masonry when building in a historic area.
Incorporate Indoor and Outdoor Living
Homes are not only part of a larger community as they can also serve as a venue where family members can entertain friends and relatives. The current trend of indoor and outdoor living echoes the need for a communal space within the home. This setup maximises space for socialisation and provides a seamless transition from enclosed to open areas.
Builders and homeowners can come up with a consistent theme to consolidate both spaces. Sliding glass doors between open kitchens or lounge areas ensure easy access with minimal barriers to visibility.
You can also feature additional areas to entertain guests during gatherings. Kitchens can extend to outdoor dining areas, while patios and decks can double as telly or gaming areas. Homes may even feature additional amenities such as a pool, spa, sunroom, or even a playground or basketball court as part of a custom home.
Homes As Mixed-Use Structures
Prospective homeowners may also request extensions to accommodate business ventures. This can make perfect sense when owners see the need to fulfil a service for the community.
It is possible to retrofit homes into multi-use structures and lend themselves to a public space. Portions of the home can be converted to a professional office, café, or convenience store. This type of building can serve as a social venue for neighbours and even visitors to the community.
Mixed-use structures can be a single row with partitions between the private home space and business area. Builders and homeowners can also consider a multi-storey level for such ventures. The road level can have its role for business purposes and the residential unit on the upper floors.
In order to build a home that blends into the community, it requires a balance between privacy and openness, personality and community. Architects and engineers can achieve this by using community character as an inspiration for home structure and design. Streetscape principles and local building laws serve as guidelines to ensure security and social interaction.
Builders can also help homeowners maximise space by connecting indoor and outdoor living. Providing sufficient space for guests through open areas and additional amenities enhances a sense of community. It also strengthens bonds formed when homes are cleverly crafted to blend into a neighbourhood’s historical and social landscape.