The Gable End of All

Gable ends are one of the strongest tools used to make an architectural statement in residential architecture.  The iconic symbol of a house is in the shape of the gable end side of a house.  The connotation stems from a house providing a roof over our head.  Graphically, the angled roof resulting in a triangle front makes it a very distinct geometric shape.  Historically, it’s a breakthrough in structural design, away from the simple post and lintel construction, allowing for larger spans between walls.  On a comfort level, it sheds water better than a flat roof and therefore gives us better protection against the inclements of weather.

For this post, I will skip the usual suspects in gable end designs and will direct my focus on the clever, the ingenuous and the romantic treatments of our beloved gable ends.

The “soft story” look.  A gable end over large openings to give it a featherweight look.  It floats and looks effortless.

The gable end is the only facade showing in each of these row houses.  Let’s only show the side that matters!

Let nature enhance this gable end by molding it to its shape.

Combining the triangular shape with a strong horizontal entity.  Make it seem anti-gravitational by facing it with rocks supported by a white ephemeral arm.

Modern inserts against the traditional hay used non traditionally on the gable end instead of on the roof.

The strong symmetry with bisecting chimney line serves to accentuate the clean outlines of the mass.

The truncated gable end.  It’s best when the slope is steep.

Sometimes, it’s simple enough to keep the traditional form and play with the material. In this case, making it translucent is anything but traditional.

Another “soft story” gable end.  This time, it leaves room for a nice cozy porch.

Texture it with slats.  The pattern it makes at night gives off a quite splendid effect.

An outdoor room overlooking a river. Such a romantic gesture with vertical siding without a bottom trim to add a modern take to a rural scene.

The glass gable end. Light, textured and effortlessly supported. 

The gable end window allows you to enjoy the gable geometry from inside as well.

Purely graphic exercise to juxtapose the traditional against the cubist approach to a house form.  Can this be any more poetic?

 The truncated gable end next to the long shed form. Simply magic. The grey wood siding against a stark landscape evokes the quietness of just being.  One senses the sharpness of the roof peak as equal in roughness with the bare cliff beyond. If there is a place to escape to, this surely is.

Click of images for photo sources.

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