Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Canal Houses - Neither Plumb Nor Square

Walking along the canals of old Amsterdam I did notice the odd building that had settled or was crooked relative to its neighbour, then noticed that there was a consistent lean or rake forward.  I assumed it was settlement as the wooden piles were centuries old and must rot at some point.

The Google informed me that this forward lean was intentional, even mandated by the City and that the purpose was to provide clearance when hoisting material up to the attic or lofts of these merchant houses.  I would have thought a longer beam, overhanging gable or corbeled brick would have been the solution,

The next observation, when drawing eh hoist beams was that they were often skewed to the face of the building, which upon looking into the windows was because often the face is not square to the walls.
So neither plumb nor square - demanding carpentry.

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