Form or Function? What’s more important in new home construction?
30 Jun, 2020
The most fundamental aspects of great home design are Form and Function. Form refers to the aesthetic design of a building, while function refers to the practicality of the spaces created. In architectural terms: Form follows function. This means that form should be designed around the function of the design being created.
Form and function go hand in hand in home design. Each is dependent on the other for a successful design. If the question is asked of which is more important in new home construction, the answer is function. While form is in itself an integral aspect of home design, sacrificing the former for the latter can be a costly mistake.
Building a new home is an exciting journey and one of the biggest investments you’ll likely make in your life. Whether you intend for your newly built home to be the place you spend your future, or if you one day intend to sell; the design of your new home will play an important role in the personal and financial value of your home.
Out of the two design principles, function is the more important in terms of home design and construction. Sacrificing function for the sake of form will leave you with a house that may look amazing, but may end up having areas of awkward, unusable space. A home that is lacking in functional design elements may suffer from impractical proportions or accessibility, higher running costs and/or a lack of essential aspects such as storage space and adequate lighting or ventilation. All of these issues can have a dramatic impact on the livability and value of your home.
Having said that, there must always exist a little give and take between form and function. Say for instance, you wish to capture the stunning views on offer with a window wall, but the views face the south-side of your home. The incorporation of a window wall may affect the energy rating of your home, but omitting the windows means losing the views. A compromise here may mean spending the extra money on a triple glazed window, in order to capitalise on the views. Sometimes you must weigh up the options and make the decision that is going to add the most value to your home.
Finding the perfect balance of form and function is the most desirable objective when designing a new home. A skilled, experienced architect, home designer or draftsman will be able to do this. By engaging in plenty of conversation with you about how you want your new home to look and function, the person in charge of your home design will be able to create a design that captures the essence of the form you want, while also maximising the functionality of the home.
When creating a new home design, one must always start with a clean slate. The best home designs are the ones that are created with the nature and shape of the land in mind. Designing a home to suit the land it is built on has many advantages, both from a financial and aesthetic stand-point. By following the natural flow of the land, you will have a unique home design that is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. You can even improve the energy efficiency of your new home by using materials suitable to your location, as well as an optimum orientation to harness the natural opportunities provided by your build site.
The landscape in Victoria is diverse and ranges from flat, pastural land to coastal hills to dense bushland and mountainous regions. Designing your new home to interact with and complement the natural surroundings is an intelligent and fun way to enhance the effectiveness of the form and function of your new home.
Think about what makes a home feel welcoming and appealing. Visualise the ideal home design for you. How do you want it to look? Open plan and spacious with high ceilings and large windows; or cosy and intimate with privacy in mind? Will your home require a lot of storage, connection points or lighting? How will the design affect the energy efficiency and running costs of the home? How will you heat it and cool it? The more considered approach to home design takes into account all of these details and more in order to create a home design with the perfect blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. The more harmonious the balance between form and function, the more likely you are to have a beautiful and livable home.