• Select from limited building sites because of topography and regulations to protect the landscape character. 

• Orient and cluster rural buildings toward and

near roadways rather than lined up along a

road. (Figure of building structures oriented toward roads and staggered at varying distances.) When practical, cluster buildings around a common site, as seen in a village green or

town center.  (Figure showing village buildings clustered around a common site)


• Tuck buildings into the edges of clearings and at changes in grade. (Figure showing buildings tucked into the vegetation on the edge of a clearing and figure from the Allegheny region of sun exposure and circulation of air around roof.) 



• Design buildings to step down grades rather than leveling site. (Figure of three buildings sited on stepped down grades preserving the natural landform.)


• Design roads to be site sensitive. They should

follow contours of the land like a river weaving

through landscape.

• Landscape the site for snow storage.

• Berm the back wall of buildings into slopes.

• Visually screen structures by planting banks

of native vegetation.

• Detach outdoor space from the building with

gardens or plazas (no attached decks). (Figure of outdoor shaded patio space detached from main structure.)



“Simplify, simplify.” —Henry David Thoreau

• Break functions into smaller building wings as

opposed to using one big building. (Figure of large single structure broken into several smaller forms.)

• Make buildings appear to have grown organically through additions over time. (Figure of large simple building with similar small building attached.)

• Design rectangular buildings, as in barns or

saltbox houses.

• Use traditional building heights from one and a half to two stories that remain well suited for tight, restricted sites.

• Use narrow, horizontal siding and small, punched

window openings to reduce the apparent mass

of a building.

• Do not design rambling, irregular Victorian or Queen Anne-style building volumes. (Example of building of complicated irregular forms)


• Include small porches.

• Make the chimneys visible on the gable side.

• Match larger buildings in scale to a larger backdrop. (Figures of the building’s mass in relation to its surroundings: One story building in landscape of short vegetation and moderate hills and a three story building in landscape of tall vegetation and steeper hills.)



Bases are both functional and symbolic. They

suggest permanence and solidity when expressed

and celebrated using solid, textured materials.

A weathering base creates a platform that

protects the rest of the building from frost,

mud, and snow.

• Sink the base below the frost line.

• Use traditional, random-pattern stone bases.

• Select stones that match local stones.

• Lay stone in patterns that mimic local geology.

• Create textures with synthetic materials by

coloring concrete or using split-face stone.



Walls are the primary elements of architecture in

this province. Wall materials are usually wood in

horizontal patterns. Suitable

materials include:

• Clapboards.

• Weathered shingles painted white

or red.

• Vertical corner-boards painted in

contrasting colors.



Windows are typically small, double-hung, and

divided (traditionally up to 12 panes over 12 panes).

• Arrange windows for symmetry.

• Avoid strip windows in horizontal bands.

• Use lintels, sills, and pediments for ornamental


• Use single doors instead of double doors.

• Use porches for public entries to buildings.

• Use simple entries for nonpublic buildings.

• Include air locks or vestibules.



• Design roof pitch to ranges from 6:12 to 12:12

• Use gable shape instead of a flat or shed style

(unless shed extends from main building).

• Include slate, shingle, simulated shingle, or

metal material.

• Reduce ice damage with a minimal (if any)


• Include gutters to keep walls dry.

• Use thin eaves and bargeboards.

• Integrate cupola for venting.

• Avoid exposed rafter tails for maintenance


• Make gables and sheds simple and uncluttered.

• Include snow and ice guards on metal roofs

where “snow dump” is an issue.



Buildings of this province do not typically include

heavily expressed or exposed structural members.

Rustic, CCC-inspired buildings are suitable for

picnic and cabin structures in remote areas,

but they are out of character in settings

classified as developed on the ROS.

• Avoid exposed structure on exterior;

• Include some exposed timber framing

on the interior.


Typical roof elements include:

• Gable roof

• Cupola for roof venting

• Simple gable dormers

• Minimal overhang

• Narrow fascia board

(no exposed rafters)


Use Simple porch entries such as gable porch and shed porch.




• Use durable, natural, local materials such as

stone, wood, and clapboard. Alternatives

include textured, colored concrete block.

• Use metal or vinyl siding for low-maintenance

utilitarian buildings.


• Stucco or synthetic stucco.

• Asphalt-shingle siding.

• Glass “curtain” wall.

• Metal buildings in public areas.

• High-tech looking, sleek, or

smooth materials.

• Mediterranean tile.

Suitable site materials include:

• Crushed granite.

• Granite curbs.

• Stamped concrete for walkways.

• Concrete pavers (tumbled block

to add texture and look rustic).

• Waste quarry stone.


Appropriate roof materials include:

Wood, slate, fiber-cement, or composition shingles, and seamed metal



Take cues from the setting, emphasizing blues,

grays, and browns. Follow the ROS guidelines:

• Naturally weathering materials and earth tones

with no accents in primitive or semi-primitive settings.

• Naturally weathering materials and earth tones

with limited accents drawn from nature in roaded natural settings.

• White, red, gray, and naturally weathering

materials in rural settings.

• Warm earth tones with a wide range of accents

in rural settings.

Other Guidelines:

• Contrast colors in “detail areas” such as

windows and doors. For example, use dark

trim with a light wall and light trim with a

dark wall.

• Paint porch ceilings using historical colors,

such as robin’s egg or sky blue.




Chapter 4.1 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide