Amir Chakhmaq Complex occupies the focal point of Yazd, Iran. When the sun touches the western horizon its beautiful façade studded with symmetrical alcoves light up as if under a magical spell. The spectacular façade of Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal is another sight to behold. Carved out of pink sandstone, this one is decorated with a number of highly ornate lattice windows, finials and domes. Examples of such gracefully designed facades are replete in the historical edifices around the world. In fact, such ornate detailing was a norm rather than an exception then.
Though changing time has also resulted in the change of tastes but the importance of having such charming facades could not be undermined even today. The examples mentioned above emphasise the importance of having an elegant façade for every home. They immediately draw everyone’s attention. Moreover, they tend to create a welcoming atmosphere palpable from a distance. However, such facades have to be appropriate for contemporary buildings. So what are the designs that you can introduce in the façade of your home? Read on to find out for yourself.
Balconies with decorative balustrades can help to create an impactful façade. You can create small balconies just outside your French windows and bound them in filigree railings. If you are having a wood clad building why not consider having long circumambulatory balcony around the entire structure? Nouveau balconies with iron work like this one designed by Architectural Design Studio and Bureau Line 8 can prove to be a gorgeous addition to the façade of your house. Cantilevered balconies with Catalan ironwork balustrades or one of their modern versions would help beautify your building as well.
After years of larking in the dark, wood facades are being shown the light of the day. Modern architects have also dressed up wood in a style suited to contemporary structures. Huge interests about eco consciousness and sustainable building plans are also fuelling the revival of wood façades. Modern houses may use wood to decorate a portion of the building or the complete structure. They help to create a livelier appearance. Larch, cedar and spruce are generally used to build highly decorative wood facades. Larch and cedar are extremely durable and require little maintaining. Larch does not need any chemical protection either. Spruce however requires periodic protective coatings to last for years.
This was a style favoured by the likes of Le Corbusier. Generally, a house is built with long windows, balconies or terraces with least amount of vertical interventions to allow a design like this to sustain. This is also a preferred style for many a modern designer. Such vast opening allows maximum inflow of air and natural light. If your house boasts of scenic views, then this is a style that will suit you just fine.
Stone boasts a colour and texture unique to its own. No two blocks of the stone can have the exactly same veins and designs. Use sandstone, marble, limestone, polished granite or travertine to deck your façade. However, make sure the underlying structure is sturdy enough to carry the weight of stone for a long period of time. Alternatively, you can use lightweight ceramic with a look of natural stone to beautify the façade. Specially formulated lime mortars are sometimes used to give the same appealing look of a stone façade as well.
Angular façade or facades with separate volumetric divisions are another one of the recently developed styles. If your house is occupying an odd shaped plot or you want to have a building with ingenuous divisions between public and private quarters then this is a style that you can opt for. Generally, each block of the house is decked up in different materials like wood, stone or concrete. Alternatively, they can be coloured in different shades. This helps to heighten the dramatic nature of an already interesting design.
Curtain walls are more a characteristic of highrise buildings than two or three storey detached houses. But if you wish to you can easily incorporate curtain walls in your residence. The changing faces of the sky create quite a spectacle on the reflective glass surface. The same can be replicated by cloaking the façade with mirrored surface. Make sure to give it a protective coat so that it does not result in rising temperatures within and outside the building. You will also have to duly treat your reflective façade to prevent hurting flying birds and insects which might be drawn to its illusive face.
Learn how the forms and shapes of a house influence your subconscious here.