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Size, space and proportions

Category: Healthy House June 28th, 2007 by mbc

Here we concern ourselves with the volume of space we live in and through consideration of proportion aim to create harmony and reason within that space.

Architectural practice since ancient times has constrained itself by the use of proportional systems that guide the selection of forms for inclusion within a building. Systems of proportion are often relatively straight-forward based on mathematical ratios or geometric shapes. These concepts when applied beyond the sphere of architecture, to music, art & cosmology lead to sacred geometry and other related belief systems – we will constrain ourselves here to consideration of proportions in architecture. One such system of proportion is the golden ratio. Two quantities fall within the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of the two quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger quantity and the smaller one.

The golden ratio is 1.618033… and is also known as Phi and can be used to form the Golden Rectangle.

Beyond such esoteric considerations, the question of what size is the right size for your home arises. The answer to this question can be found through consideration of factors such as the number of inhabitants and the stages of life they are at, their entertainment needs, lifestyle and health & mobility requirements. Our options will be constrained by financial restrictions and building and planning regulations. This is a complex and dynamic web of factors each of which is of varying weight and priority in each individual situation and each of which must be considered to derive an optimal solution.

Very often we buy or build the largest home we can afford ignoring considerations of good design and fitness for purpose. As we seek increasingly healthy, green solutions to our housing requirements so good design becomes of increasingly significance.

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