RHYTHM OF SOLIDS AND VOIDS
The historic storefront facade has a greater proportion of glass on the main floor than in the upper stories. The small upper story windows are punched through walls of masonry, giving a repeated rhythm of solid, void, solid, void, solid, across the storefront and, indeed, across multiple storefronts. On the ground floor, on the other hand, storefronts are mostly glass, with large windows, or “voids” dominating the street front. Although columns at the door (located in center or to one side) sometimes split the lower facade, they are usually very thin and undersized to allow as much vision glass as possible.
The resultant solid to void relationship is characterized by the lower floor having a majority of its surface as “void” or window, and the upper floors having a majority of their surface as “solid” punctuated by repeated “voids” or windows.
Guideline for Rhythm of Solids and Voids
Do maintain large storefront windows; do not block up the storefront to install smaller windows.
Do maintain the rhythm of solids and voids in upper stories; do not change the size of windows or cover over the upper facade.
Guideline for Solid/Void Relationships in New Construction
The majority of the surface of the first floor of a building should be window area; the surface of the upper floors should bear a repeated solid void relationship, with windows spaced evenly in the wall.