Oxana Vatavu

The classic look of the house is relevant at all times, no matter how modern houses with flat roofs try to take the lead. Today I will take apart a recent French château-inspired project I worked on and talk about the techniques I used during the design of the façade.

The first thing to look for is symmetry, one of the main characteristics of a classical heritage. The expressive central risalite with a wide staircase of the main entrance, framed with balusters, immediately sets a solemn tone.

The decor is simultaneously plentiful, but it does not sting the eye, thanks to the fact that it is in a single pastel palette, the contrast of the transition is smoothed as much as possible.

By decor I mean not only window frames or pilasters. The first floor is completely rusticated, and above the openings there are arcs of rustication and volumetric elements, like keystones.

At the corners of the second floor are corner bosses, in support of the first floor rustication.

Going up, I added framing to the dormer windows with semi-circular tympanas, balancing the large number of corners, and graceful brackets on the pilasters.

But since everything is basically the same color, you need different materials to make the façade not look boring.

The ground floor, which is more visible and interacts more with people, is more expensive with natural stone; the second floor is separated by a belt and plastered, and the risalita above the entrance portal is tiled.

Oxana Vatavu

This project is several years old, but I periodically return to it in my mind.

What is so compelling about it? What techniques made it memorable?

If all the walls were uniformly covered only in brickwork, it would make the eyes glaze over, and the protruding part with the garages would detract attention.

So I decided to highlight the central part of the house with lighter plaster, and to make it not look like a foreign spot, lay out on it a mosaic decorative panel, to tie in with the mottled brick.

Pay attention to the decors, they are not all around the window, so as not to overload the house, but only at the top and bottom, to emphasize the openings.

The color of the window frames is graphite, in the tone of the roof; you have to agree, it would not be the same with white plastic.

The result is an interesting example of an understated classic, but with a twist.

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