In any rural area, ensuring both architectural quality and preservation of rural characteristics must be a goal of building design for sustainable environments. Imitation of traditional building techniques and use of natural materials are trendy again in landscape architecture of rural areas in Spain. This is especially visible in architectural design of façades of new building. However, there are few researches that focus on analyzing the visual effect of this new architecture in landscape integration. In regards, this chapter explores visual quality impact of a façade based on their complexity degree. The aim was in particular to identify visual preference patterns in ornamentations with stone or wood of novel rural buildings. New architectural styles from an experimental rural area of Mediterranean basin are chosen for this purpose. Here, 15 secondary housing images were used to evaluate the visual preference of different façades: traditional vs. new archetypes. During the measuring process, scientific design theories of façade complexity were considered. Seventy-five observers scored images selected using a five-point Likert scale, and results were analyzed by appropriate statistical tests (Cohen’s “d”). Surprisingly, as a main result, the simple use of natural materials is not enough to guarantee the design quality of a façade.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture