Friday, 17 January 2014

Touraine Buildings Terminology: Facades Part III

Farmhouse door in a wonderfully rustic house.
General Terminology Part I
General Terminology Part II
General Terminology Part III

Plain and decorative metal bars over a secondary window. 
Strictly speaking these should be painted a dark colour.
Touraine Buildings Terminology: Facades Part I
Touraine Buildings Terminology: Facades Part II

 Hand forged iron bars on a cellar ventilation opening. 
Note the small teeth along the length of the angles.
Front Doors (les portes d'entrées)
Houses in towns generally have a plain door with a transom (imposte vitrée). Rural houses have half glazed farmhouse doors with four panes of glass higher than they are wide. This door was usually mirrored by a protective shutter that functioned independently from the door and could be operated from inside the house. This model was a good compromise to allow light and security at the same time. The lower solid part, called a portillon prevented animals from entering the house.

 A slatted wooden door on a cellar window. Again, it should really be painted a dark colour.
Carriage and Courtyard Doors (les portes cochères et charretières)
Used for carriages and carts to pass through in the old days they have retained all their functional and architectural advantages. Always higher than they are wide, the courtyard entry is made of two oak doors, often on a robust framework of crossbars. The pedestrian door (porte piétonne) facilitates regular usage.

 A town house door, plain, with a transom above. The powdery blue is typical of this area.
Details and other elements of the facade
Other architectural elements punctuate certain facades in the Touraine. Basement windows or ventilators (soupiraux) are a very typical feature of town houses of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. An ironwork grill protects them against unwanted entry attempts and came to ornament the foundation stones in the facade. This protective artefact, offering simultaneous security and elegance, is today often discarded.

A courtyard door with an oak lintel and pedestrian door.
Metal was particularly used to make these protective elements.

 A courtyard door with cut stone surround.
It would be improved by being painted a darker colour
(white is commonly seen but pale grey would be more traditional).
Vertical bars, darker than the joinery, could also be used on certain openings.

Bars protecting the glass of the door on the left, on the right a courtyard door with cut stone surround.
Wooden door made of planks, in a garden wall.
A farmhouse style door with separate portillon and shutter (the diagonal brace on the shutter is not traditional for here, although you see them frequently now).

2 comments:

  1. That "Green door at No.2" shows a wonderful, and classic, textbook repair to the bottom!
    A zig-zag / fence top [as in this case]... or a saw tooth join is the strongest way to repair planks... and it looks good, too!
    I am really enjoying this series of informative articles [they are better than blog posts]

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  2. Interested by the comment about the diagonal brace on shutters not being traditional. This might well apply to planked doors of all sizes. For some time I noticed the absence, and with English cap on, thought how odd, given the soundness structurally of the diagonal. Conceivably with wide strap hinges for shutters it is not needed.

    We have shutters without braces, but the horizontal rail is halved into the vertical planks. Made of Poplar wood, iron clench-nailed, they have nevertheless lasted – with some recent TLC - at least since just post-war and probably longer. It may be an economy driven characteristic.
    I have also seen shutters with the horizontal rails morticed right through the vertical planks, so not visible, and conceivably the elegant solution for the up-market buildings involved. But good timber and regular painting needed.

    Hope I am not just commenting for the likes of Tim!

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