Sometimes a house or building just looks a bit off. If the problem isn’t immediately apparent, such as a glaringly harsh color scheme or over-the-top landscaping, it might be something more subtle like a problem with scale. The following structures all have scale issues:
A tiny and underscaled window floats in a vast sea of vinyl siding. Other second story windows, clearly replacements, are shorter than what was likely installed originally in this circa 1900 house. None of the windows have substantial casings – further undermining their appearance.
This former one-story brick house has gained an oppressively large addition on top of it. The scale problem is made more pronounced by the absence of windows, a gabled roof and off-white paint giving it the appearance of a blank billboard.
These columns and balustrade posts are a tad too beefy for the otherwise unassuming facade. The side elevation, inexplicably a different color, gives the front a flattened and veneer-like look. The side has a single small window with only some electrical conduit to break the monotony. Note that the porch lights have been installed upside down (I see this happen a lot… why?).
Underscaled replacement windows are highlighted by infill which contrasts sharply with the surrounding brick on this former school building, now converted to residential use.
A large second-story addition visually crushes the former ranch house it squats on.
This small 1970’s apartment house appears to be sinking into the ground; the top-heavy “mansard” roof is much more dominant than the side wall. The color distribution and absence of windows both heighten the problem.
Ginormous dormers with comparatively small windows protrude from a steep roof – giving this house a top-heavy appearance. The entry porch below should be the primary focus but it is overwhelmed by the dormers. Spindly iron porch supports further diminish the entry’s importance.
Scale issues are not limited to buildings! Here a row of overly-large fence posts sports an occasional tiny lamp globe. Painfully thin chain serves as the “fence” which surrounds a community college.
Detail of offending post and lamp. Despite the plaque, there are no gates. The “pathways to knowledge” here have bypassed the part about scale and proportion.