House Plan Designs and Considerations

House plan designs are affected by many things, most of all it all comes down to the Natural elements the home needs to withstand. Over time the house design has changed to create a more suitable and simply more comfortable living space for the occupant, which is in a sense what homes are, they are a safe haven which provides comfortable living in a location which may be beautiful, but is otherwise unpleasant to live in.

Modern African House Designs

Modern African Architecture combines vernacular materials and methods, with simplicity in mind these house designs have evolved into breath-taking structures.

The following features of the design are used to provide comfortable living in Africa’s harsh environment:

Grass used for thatching is readily available in the African bushveld and is quickly assembled.

  • Earth Toned Walls

Earth Toned walls create a thick mass which causes thermal lagging. Thermal lagging is when the transfer of temperature through a thick substance is delayed. During the day, walls heat up and keep heat locked in, during the cold African evening these walls begins to leak the heat stored which naturally heats up living spaces.

  • Monolithic and Minimalist Structures

Materials were only available in nature therefore the designs evolved to be extremely basic and simple using conventional materials.

  • Timer Features, commonly round poles

Simply inspired by natural materials in Africa

  • Concrete Screeded Floors that Imitate Traditional Mud Floors.

Traditional mud floors worked beautifully; again it was made from naturally founded materials which is the essence of modern African designs.

  • Natural Stone Work

African Architecture has found itself gaining popularity due to its exotic features and practical use of locally available materials

Balinese House Designs

A brilliant example of Balinese Architecture in a modern setting

Balinese building design is a vernacular structure heritage of Balinese individuals who inhabits the volcanic island of Bali and Indonesia. Today, contemporary Balinese style is known as one of the most prominent Asian tropical architecture, due predominantly to the growth of the tourism industry in Bali Indonesia that has generated a huge demand for Balinese-style houses, cottages, villas and lodges.

Contemporary Balinese structural design brings together traditional aesthetic principles, the island’s abundance of all-natural materials, famous artistry and craftsmanship of its citizens and as well as world-wide architectural influences, modern techniques and trends.

Traditional Bali structural house designs differs from modern house plans in that specific materials are replaced by more permanent modern day materials, such as roof tiles instead of thatch, introduction of steel and concrete.

Bali Architecture is very much nature orientated and features the following:

  • The Dominance of Nature 
  • Integrated Interior and External Living Spaces
  • Verandas, Patios and Terraces.
  • Natural Elements and Materials
  • Neutral and earth tone color array
  • Dominant Roof Form with Large Overhangs
  • Large Windows and Doors

Minimalist House Designs

In Minimalist Styled Architecture, the outline elements pass on the message of straightforwardness. The critical geometric architectural structures, elements without adornment, simple materials and the reiterations of structures speak a feeling of essential superior quality.

The development of regular light in the minimalistic structure boasts a straightforward design with clean large open spaces. In the late nineteenth century as expressions of the human experience and development evolved into what we know now as Great Britain, architects strived for the feeling of honesty in materials, regarding the significant and inherent attributes of materials. Minimalist designers submissively ‘listen to figure,’ searching for embodiment and simpleness by rediscovering the important characteristics in basic and normal materials.

The concept of Minimalist Architecture is to simplify everything right down to its key elements and achieve simplicity. The concept is not totally without ornamentation, but rather that all parts, points of interest and joinery are considered as lessened to a stage where no other designer can enhance the finished design.
In Minimalist Architecture, Form is Function.

“In Minimalist Architecture, Form is Function”


House plan designs are strongly affected by the natural habitat which is why designs vary so widely across the planet. In Africa we have thick walls to keep homes cool during the day and warm at night, in Britain they have short roof over hangs to allow more sunshine to strike the walls, and in turn heat up the residence, and in Indonesian  households  have large over hangs  to keep buildings cool.

These are just a few examples of how local Climates have affected and evolved house designs into what they are today.