Monday, 30 December 2013

Touraine Vernacular Buildings Terminology Part III

Part I is here.
Part II is here.

Construction materials:
There is a strong correlation between the architecture and the geological composition of the earth from which the construction materials are extracted. The Loire Valley is in a zone of alluvial sandy clay that has been carried by the Loire and its tributaries from the Massif Central on to the limestone foundation which has been gouged out by the river. Slowly but surely the river meandered through the region, covering and mixing different soils and thereby creating the diversity of materials used in construction. The quality of the subsoil in the Loire Valley affects the underground water, the agricultural and industrial resources and as a consequence, the way of life and dwellings. By using the materials nearby and using the river for their transportation, the buildings sink harmoniously into the landscape and environment.

To ensure the consistency of all the built elements you should use the original materials, treatments and colours when renovating.

Bandeau d'encadrement. 
 Door surround -- an ornamental frame to the door opening.
Une porte charretière.
A courtyard door. Note the small pedestrian door (une porte piétonne) embedded in the bigger door.
The notice on this door says 'Sortie de brouette' ('Wheelbarrow exit').
Une porte d'entrée de vantail vitré.
A half-glazed front door. This one has a transom (une imposte vitrée) above the door as well.
Une porte fermière.
A farmhouse door (strictly speaking, this isn't a farmhouse door, it was a shop door, but the principle is the same.) The top and bottom halves of the door can open separately or be locked together to operate as one door. These were usually farm kitchen doors and the idea was to keep barnyard animals out of the house, whilst being able to ventilate the kitchen by opening the top half of the door. Typically the shutters only cover the top half of the door, which was often glazed, while the bottom was solid. This former shop door has extra windows to the side and a modern roller shutter.
Le Soubassement.
The foundations (2-3 courses of harder stone at ground level, below which are the cellars and which support the walls of the house above, protecting them from damp and erosion).
La travée.
The span (between bays or piers above ground, vaults below).
Typically this is between 3.8 and 4.2 metres.
Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for the Glass-winged Syrphus Hover Fly Syrphus vitripennis.
A section on the Tapered Drone Fly Eristalis pertinax has been added to the Drone Flies Eristalis spp entry.
Sections on the unusual blow fly Stomorhina lunata and one of the most familar of all blow flies, the Urban Bluebottle Calliphora vicina, have been added to the Blow Flies Calliphoridae entry.
A new photo has been added to the Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius entry.
A section on Pales pavida has been added to the Parasitic Flies Tachinidae entry.


Stuart said...

Thanks for this mini-course in architecture. I did not know most of these door names.

Tim said...

A transom, as shown, is known in the UK as a "half-light"... and is usually associated with 19th and early 20th Century buildings....
where the ceilings were high enough to allow space above the door [often solid or with a couple of glazing panes at the top of the door]...
and as an aside...
in the UK, rolls of wallpaper come in 27 foot lengths...
for three drops plus a bit of adjustment for a small patterned paper in buildings of that age!!
For some strange reason, paper length has stayed the same....
despite ceilings getting a lot lower.

As for the courtyard / barn door...
I'd never get either of our brouettes through that micro-door...
well, not with anything in them anyway!!
And I'm not sure about that keystone that's taken a bashing either... that poor doorway needs TLC!

Simon said...

In english a porte charretière is a judas gate, or a wicket gate. I knew the first one, but only learnt the second today.

What interests me is not so much why I didn't know the latter, but how I knew the former...

John said...

I think your mention of Judas could be the start of many comments, Simon.

Interestingly the Bible – the Dicobat – talks of la porte charretière as having a guichet let into it. 'Gu' in French is often rendered 'W' in English, so I assume we get our wicket-gate from that. Interestingly one apparently had churches equipped with a guichet de lépreux, or lepers' squint in England. So Simon and Susan I am expecting in due course that you will manage to track me down a lepers' squint somewhere in Touraine du Sud.

Meanwhile I'll wait with interest to see whether any French friends would make a distinction between a porte cochère and a porte charretière. Perhaps I could do worse than quizz a neighbour whose family were involved in charonnerie (just along the street) or another friend whose ancestors were clearly carters, or charriers.

chm said...

Thank you for this informative post.

Being a city boy, I have never heard any of those different door names. The only name I know is 'porte cochère', carriage door [?] because that kind is plentiful in Paris. In fact, it is the upscale version of 'porte charretière'. Some can be very elaborate, glass, wrought iron and all.

John, I didn't read your post before I wrote mine. So I think I answer you quest. It is interesting what you say about Gu and W.

John said...

Sorry, two Rs in charronnerie. The dream would be to possess a building with a porte charretière so that one could have a well-lit workshop inside it.

Susan said...

John: I agree with chm that a porte cochère is the city version of the porte charretière.

Btw, Simon means that a porte piétonne is called a Judas door or wicket door in English.

Tim said...

"the buildings sink harmoniously"...
is that at the end of their life?
Or does it mean "blend"?

Susan said...

Tim: Blend.

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