Whilst not always a common question, something builders in Codsall are sometimes asked is about whether it would be okay to personalise their homes or places of business and design them in a way that reflects their personality, interests, history or some combination.
The answer is complicated and it is always worth asking architects, builders and your local planning authority, but there are plenty of cases where people have taken personalisation to the next level.
Officially known as mimetic architecture, it is a design principle built in response to the common building motto that form follows function, by having buildings where the form is the function itself, typically resulting in, for example, shop buildings shaped to resemble the products they sell or part of the brand’s identity.
An example of this would be the Tonneau Bistro & Bar in Okinawa which is built to resemble the look of a beer barrel, complete with a pouring tap.
Other examples include the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, which resembled the hat of the same name, the High-Heel Wedding Church in Taiwan, the Wolfartsweier Cat in Germany and the Longaberger Basket headquarters in Ohio.
Because these buildings are unusually designed and typically require some more unusual materials to construct and clad, they can be trickier to get planning permission for but are often worth it if you want to stand out.
However, there is one exceptionally notable exception to this in Ireland, with the mimetic architecture concept being adapted not to stand out but to blend in.
The Mimetic House is built in rural Dromaheir, County Leitrim, and uses a mirrored facade to reflect the changing countryside around it, taking the concept of reflecting the external world that mimetic architecture was constructed around and flipping it around entirely to build closer to nature.