This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol1", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Fig. 34 illustrates a pair of cottages designed on these considerations to meet the requirements of a working man with the proverbial small income and large family, on the assumption that they face south or west, and that the best views are obtainable in front. Thus the living rooms are arranged in front, and, provided with bay windows, secure sunlight for the greater part of each day, together with a pleasant outlook. The outer door opens into a small lobby from which the stairs rise direct, while the living room is entered from it also through an inner door. A good deal of attention was here paid to the way in which these doors should open, so as to be least awkward while shielding the room from unnecessary draughts. As shown, visitors are admitted readily, while the fireplace and middle of the room are protected, and the bay window is not unduly exposed.
The living room is large enough for a family to congregate in; the front portion with its cheerful bay being arranged for the table, with plenty of space then left in front of the fire, alongside of which a settle or seat is arranged, having a high enough back to screen off the sink, which is placed here in order that the housewife need not be compelled to carry the hot water for washing-up into the cold wash-house. The sink is in front of a window facing north. The larder, with window to east or west, is placed close to the sink, and at the fireplace end of the room, and a dresser is also accessible, while there is a small store for fuel under the stairs.
Near the sink another door leads into an open-air but covered lobby, from which the earth-closet is entered on one side and the wash-house on the other, thus securing disconnection to both, so that on washing days the steam from the copper shall not enter the living room. The copper is placed against the jamb of the living room fireplace, so as to utilise the same chimney stack, and close to it is placed a bath.
Until recently it was rarely thought necessary to provide a labouring man with the means of having a wash, but a bath is as greatly appreciated by him as by any other member of the community, and it has been found that, if put in the wash-house close to the copper, it can be filled by a tap directly from the copper, while its waste can discharge outside, either over a trapped gully connected with the drainage system, or into a small sump or-soak away. It also serves as a most convenient wash-tub, or can be covered with a table top when not in use. It should, of course, not be encased.
Root of Cottages S .Aspect
The projecting square bay gives a little additional room, and secures the entry of direct sunlight, either in the morning or evening.
The stairs are of necessity narrow and steep, but not too steep for comfort, and they are well lit with window to east or west.
On the first floor there are three bedrooms, the principal one, No. 1, facing south, while the bay window to No. 2 allows at any rate some sunlight to enter either in the morning or evening. Each of these is large enough for a double bed placed away from all draught; but No. 3 is as small as a bedroom can very well be. There is just room in it for a single bed, and that is all. Its window faces either east or west. A spare corner in bedroom No. 1 is utilised as a linen cupboard.
The second floor is contrived entirely within the roof, by constructing it upon the Mansard principle, with two different slopes. The whole space is given up to one large bedroom, which would contain in case of necessity as many as two full-sized beds and one smaller one, while plenty of lighat is admitted by windows at back and front. Posts are necessary to carry the hips where the roof pitches change, and these appear in the room.
The roofing, as will be seen from the drawings, is simple, even the bay windows being covered by overhanging the eaves of the main roof, and the attempt to obtain all that is needed at low cost is carried so far as to expose the floor joists that the height of the rooms below may be reckoned from their floor to the underside of the flooring over, the total height of the building being thus much reduced.
This type of plan is capable, without very much alteration, of being utilised for rows of cottages having exceedingly narrow frontages, as shown in Fig. 35, each cottage having a frontage of 15 feet and a depth of 22 feet 6 inches. The modifications consist mainly in the substitution of an open porch common to two houses for the closed lobby entrance, so as to afford light to the larder, which is now brought to the front - and the other changes are necessitated by these. The stairs have to rise in the opposite direction, and directly from the living room, to which they may be open.
This enables the heat from the living room fire to ascend and warm the whole house; but the landing on the first floor has to be lit from the north, and bedroom No. 3 now comes to the south, while the staircase to the second floor has to be lit by a dormer window to the north, and the bay windows in the front have been altered in position and shape to prevent bedroom No. 3 from being cramped.
Once a type is established it is frequently possible to vary and develop from it to suit different conditions.
Thus in Fig. 36 the plan is reversed to suit a northerly frontage, the wash-house and larder being brought to the front so as to face north, and the living room being at the back, with an external covered way to disconnect the earth-closet. In the end houses of a row built on this plan the living rooms could have end windows, looking out to east or west as the case may be.