Houses

This is the first in a series of broadsheets from The British Land Company PLC. It is intended to stimulate further interest in our environment by focussing attention on the everyday buildings that are all around us. They may seem commonplace but, if studied imaginatively, they reveal a wealth of details that open up exciting new perceptions of the outside world.

All the buildings shown here are reproduced to approximately the same scale, to invite comparisons and trigger discussions. Note, for instance, how the shape of a high-tech, energy-efficient home of the 1990s echoes that of a prehistoric hut, how the amount of living space varies dramatically between homes for the rich and the not-so-rich, how building skills have developed to encompass new materials and ever-changing technologies. Once many people shared their homes with livestock; now they share it with their car. By touching on themes such as these the accompanying text aims both to be informative and to encourage individuals to draw their own conclusions from the evidence before them, supported by their own observations.

The public face of a building - the part most people understand by the term architecture - is only one of the factors that helps create its identity. Its outward appearance can tell us a great deal about why it was built and what it was used for, but often a little background knowledge can be even more revealing. And so the more we become aware of such topics as the changing currents of history, the development of technology, altered living patterns and social attitudes, then the more rewarding a simple walk down a street looking at houses can be.
Among topics being considered for future broadsheets in this series are industrial architecture, buildings for pleasure, art and the architect, construction techniques and, in a lighter vein, eccentric buildings and follies.

The British Land Company PLC, (Educational Publications), 10 Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, London NW1 4QP The text and illustrations are copyright but may be photocopied and circulated for classroom use.

 

British Land Broadsheets

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