Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vernacular Porch

Vernacular architecture is the building style of a region or era, that just sort of got built the way local builders (not usually architects) usually build something. Nothing fancy, just useful for that region's use. This porch is a good example. It's semi-enclosed by that front panel, which replaces the usual rail with balusters (those vertical spindles which hold up the rail on a porch). The ladder inside shows that the porch is used to store construction and maintenance equipment rather than leisurely chairs and plant containers. What I find notable in this vernacular structure is the decorative wood panel square on its point in the center of the front rail-wall. They didn't have to put that in, but they did. 

This is another of my work break-time drawings of houses and sights in the neighborhood behind my work place. There are lots of these details as every house in that area is different. People have customized their cottages. Sometimes they have torn down the original house and replaced it with an oversized, ugly edifice that uses almost the whole lot. This neighborhood was built in the late 40s and early 50s for GI's returning from the war. Now every one of these sites and small customized cottages is worth a fortune due to its location near the city of Tysons Corner. It's a form of American building that originally catered not to the affluent but to the middle class. They don't build like this any more, at least here; new developments in my area feature monster houses or townhouses which are well out of the price range of any veteran, or anyone else who is still modestly middle-class.

Staedtler technical pen on sketchbook page, 6" x 6". This drawing took about 20 minutes to draw.

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