Relating building to street Print

Design Checklist

  1. The design of the frontage positively responds to the context of the wider street
  2. Terraced housing is located so that they face and engage with the street
  3. Parking and access is located and arranged to maximise visual contact between the house and the street
Good terraced housing must relate well to the street and have a front facade that positively addresses the public realm. The terraced house should be located on the site so that a strong identity and street presence is established.

A common design issue occurs when orientation for the sun conflicts with street alignment. Where the development is located on the south side of an east-west street, the design will need to address the street as well as orientate principal living spaces, both indoor and outdoor, so that they receive optimal sun.

Better Design Practice

Undertake an analysis of the context to help understand the characteristics of the street, the built environment and the private open spaces that line its edges. 
All access points to the site are located and designed to integrate effectively with the street or movement network beyond the site. One way to achieve this is to assemble rear-sites with front sites wherever possible, to integrate long driveways into a comprehensive redevelopment. Consider the types of fencing and the species and location of landscaping which has been used along the street. Where there is an existing positive street landscaping and fencing pattern, use locally-appropriate landscaping and fencing to help a new development fit in to an existing area, and reinforce a sense of place.

Maintain good visual contact between the house and the street, and between the house and the shared driveway or accessway, to help create a safe and friendly neighbourhood. 
Design and locate the massing of the building to reinforce the street edge. The building frontage facing the street should be well composed with careful attention to the arrangement of components such as entrances, windows and canopies, to support an attractive pedestrian experience.

When designing the street to the front door, make sure:
  • front doors are sheltered from the wind and rain, and are clearly visible from the street, shared driveway or laneway 
  • an accessible path from street is provided 
  • avoid the dominance of garages along the street frontage, and 
  • locate frequently used rooms (e.g. kitchens and living rooms) on the street side of the terrace.
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