Trafford Design Code

Type, Form and Profile

Plan and Layout


Elevation and Proportion

Materials and Detail

Parking and Garages

Threshold and Boundaries


Elevation and Proportion


A well-proportioned elevation will be aesthetically pleasing, bring legibility and harmony to the building or series of buildings, and animate the street. Building elevations should not be designed in isolation, rather the design should create a cohesive approach along a street scene, thus creating consistency and unity. Designers, however, should design layouts and detailing to avoid overly repetitive street frontages.


The building elevations help to express the character and style of the development and should be designed as a response to the context. The principal building elevation should always face the street with window treatments carefully considered in order to animate the frontage while maintaining privacy and security for the occupants.

Features of housing elevation and proportion

  • Elevation influenced by surrounding buildings
  • Well proportioned 
  •  A rhythm of elevations is created on the street
  • Good size and well positioned windows relevant to the elevation


Surrounding context and rhythm

Examples of elevation and proportion in Trafford

Many Trafford houses have a ratio between windows and walls of 35% providing lots of natural light to internal spaces

Detached house in Sale shows rules of symmetry and vertical portrait proportion of windows

Terraced street in Old Trafford shows rules of symmetry and proportion

Terraced street in Stretford shows how alignment of windows and doors can being order to street.

Browse examples of elevation and proportion


Public fronting elevations

Examples of public fronting elevations in Trafford

This corner plot house in Bowdon faces both the streets with windows, entrances and facade detail

This corner plot house in Sale faces both streets with numerous windows

This corner plot house in Sale faces both streets with numerous windows

Example of a double fronted elevation on corner plot

The example shows a corner plot where the end building has been designed with two elevations, facing both sides of the street. This means there are no blank gable ends facing the street and no unsupervised areas as a result. 

Principles of public facing elevations

Single public facing elevation

Double public facing elevation


Shape and proportion of openings

Examples of different approaches to shape and proportion of openings

Horizontal proportion

As a general rule, window shapes should reference the shape of the elevation. In this example, the rectangle elevation has rectangular windows.

Vertical proportion

However, there are exceptions to this rule as shown here where vertical proportion window openings are used on a horizontal rectangular elevation.

Basic principles of shape and proportion of openings

Vertical emphasis; Portrait shaped single pane of glass with no window bars

Vertical panes; square windows that create same vertical emphasis using window mullion

Square elevation; windows align with square proportion of the elevation

Rectangle elevation; landscape orientation windows align to rectangular proportions

Basic principles for the coherent structure of elevations

Elevation symmetry

Use symmetry to create order within an elevation or between neighbours

Neighbouring Symmetry formed between two adjoining buildings in a row can create a structure on the street

Internal Symmetry formed within a single elevation of a detached house

Window arrangement

Create order and structure through aligning windows and doors on elevations

Formal variation. There is enough alignment on the facade to bring a sense of order and understanding

Formal. There is a strict order of shapes, proportions and alignments bringing structure and formality.


Window opening size to wall ratio

Examples of ratio between windows and wall

Quick calculator

Elevation and Proportion Case Studies

Timekeepers Square

by Buttress Architects for Muse Developments The development is located in the Adelphi/Bexley Square Conservation Area and the primary aim of the site was to

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Heatherley Wood

by Bellway Homes The project demonstrates how housebuilders can achieve a generous ratio of large windows to walls on forward elevations. As well as a

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Home by Home

by MCGONIGLEMCGRATH Architects This project is one of 2 proposed Homes from Home for Clic Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young

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The Acres, Timperley

The Acres, Timperley by Trinity Architects (now B2 Architecture Ltd) for LandmarkA building or structure that stands out from its background by virtue of its

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Westbrook Villas, Chorlton

Westbrook Villas, Chorlton by Calderpeel Architects for Hillcrest Homes Westbrook Villas, on Edge Lane in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, is a select development of twelve luxurious new homes

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