CAP studios

10 Principles of new buildings in historic areas

The following ten principles (not necessarily in order of importance) are offered as a guide to CAP’s philosophy and to stimulate debate:

1. Appraise character and context before starting to design.

2. Avoid replacement or harm to character of any building or feature on the site or area.

3. The greater an area’s uniformity the greater the presumption against contrasting new buildings.

4. In areas of mixed character, new buildings should be visibly of their time, yet strengthen local distinctiveness.

5. New buildings must respond to local scale, form, materials and detailing of the area.

6. Reflect the right grain, height and bulk of surroundings, not necessarily the largest or highest.

7. Period scholarship or fine modernism are both better than weak interpretation.

8. Full details and care in controlling execution are essential to good architecture.

9. Assess claims of artistic or “landmark” quality independently and with great caution.   

10. All new buildings should be legible, friendly, delightful of form, colour and texture, technically excellent and in appropriate settings.  

Copyright CAP 2008