Design manual explained: Part III


Having established why buildings in Marina da Gama have to comply with the requirements of the Design Manual and also explained the origins of the style of architecture on which the Design Manual is based, the next step is to explain the way the elements of a building are put together to comply with the Manual.

With the origins lying with the Cape Vernacular style of architecture it is important to adhere to certain basic principals of Building Form, both in plan and elevation.

The true vernacular style, in plan, tends to resemble certain letters of the alphabet, “U”,”T”, “L” & “H”

Bearing in mind that the Marina style is an adaptation of the vernacular, the plan shapes have been changed to suit the next design feature, which was the incorporation of mono-pitch roofs which typically extend over only one room width and are broken at the apex by a parapet wall. This, important feature was introduced to minimise the impact of the wind on the Marina.

These are the adaptations of the Alphabet shapes:

And the illustration below shows how the “one room” roof cover should be applied. It should be noted that this can be expanded to be one roof plus a passage.

Pitched roofs are to be detailed and constructed at between 10 and 25 degrees pitch and are to be black. Permitted materials are natural slate, fibre cement slate or cement roof tiles. Permitted colours are black, blue black or dark grey. The reason for these colour choices being that they fit most naturally into the palette of the original vernacular material which was thatch.

In addition to pitched roofs, lean-to flat roofs form part of the vernacular style and are permitted.

These can be at any pitch below 5 degrees and constructed out of concrete waterproofed board or profiled metal sheeting. In the case of concrete or waterproofed board a layer of stone chip should cover the waterproofing which is good practice because it protects the membrane but also reduces the likelihood of glare. In the case of metal roofs, they must be set between parapet walls or if not possible all side timbers should be screened with fascia boards.   The following illustrate the roof Forms which do not follow the vernacular and are not permitted

Marina da Gama Association Executive Committee