Before turning your vision into a dream home, your house plans have to be approved.  That is why working closely with the architects to get a legalized house plan for your contemporary home ultimately wins the planning approval. The architects are well acquainted with the secrets of deriving the planning approvals to use, which is termed ad contextual designs, which mean the designs respecting the contexts.

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In this article, we shall cover what are the contextual designs, and highlight their importance in regard to house plans in Dublin.

So, what is meant by contextual designs?

In simple words, contextual design is the architecture responding to and borrowing from the site's physical characteristics. This indeed indicates the design is inspired by the form, shapes, colours, rhythm, textures, and materials of the surrounding environment. This comprises of -

  • The built environment - the neighbouring and local buildings' form, size, materials, and spacing
  • The natural environment - the colours, forms, landscape texture, trees, and water-courses
  • The historical context - the structure’s form occupying the site earlier and the materials used in the area historically.

A design need not utilize all these elements for being contextual. Rather, contrast is encouraged, only if it is deliberate, considered, and comprises the area's enhancement. The locale's traditional materials could be used, but a strikingly different form is a must, or you can borrow from the neighbouring building's form and use the different materials.

You could be feeling like every design must be contextual, and it is agreed. Contextualism is indeed encouraged by the architecture department in the planning policies, and it is voted as a good practice. But the reality is context always does not get respect. Many times, the big developers reject the same design and get done designs that appear alien and non-appealing.

How Do the Contextual Designs Ease Our Planning?

As a common man, it is common for you to develop the perception that the house planners will either refuse or else remotely differentiate only because it is something different. But fortunately, it is not the case. You have no bounds to go with the home designs exactly matching that of your neighbours. Even if a lot of people do that due to the fact they cannot bear to face the stress of the potential planning battle.

Planning policy needs careful consideration of the urban character, local context, and the resident’s needs along with the local economy, ensuring all the developments are comprising of area’s improvements to comfortably settle within the area, while the special environmental and historical assets are well conserved. These are reasonable requirements, and it is essential for good designs to consider all these necessities. Contemporary designs are supported, while the policy is specifically discouraging the pastiche developments as everything is the same there.

However, since a large part of the policy is much subjective, so the individual planners have to formulate and manipulate a lot of power, so they can easily refuse the unusual designs while accepting the ordinary ones.

Also read: Samacheer Kalvi 6th Standard Guide

Working With the Architects for House Plans

A seasoned architect is always invaluable when they are selling a kind of unusual design to the planners by making use of the local planning policy's subjective nature and the subsequent national policy on which it is based. The contextual features like making use of the traditional local materials, being inspired by the site’s history, drawing from the neighbouring buildings' form and using the form of natural elements of the site for blending into the landscape develop confidence among the planners that the house plan will be sensitive development and will be a comfortable site enhancement. Certainly, the contextual design is extremely crucial at the time of working at the sensitive sites with the listed buildings, where the developments, not contextual will not be accepted by all means.

On being combined with energy efficiency and sustainability, which the planners must be promoting, as a homeowner, you are having a better convincing case for supporting your development. You need to discuss at length with you hired architect regarding house plans with contextual designs.