Last edited 18 Feb 2021

Principles of Order in Architecture


[edit] Introduction

In architecture 'order' refers to a system of rules that structure the shape, structure, layout and proportions of a design. Order is indispensable functioning of any organised system.

[edit] Principles of order

[edit] Axis

An axis is a line connecting two points in space, about which forms can be arranged in an asymmetrical or symmetrical, balanced manner. It is an imaginary line that can denote structure, procession, direction, views, line of rotation and so on. An axis is used to align elements in the design, and to arrange and plan spaces.

[edit] Symmetry

A symmetrical object is the one that is equally proportioned, harmonious and balanced around a specific line. In geometry a symmetrical figure is the one that when bisected by an axis is divided into two areas which are mirror images of one another. Symmetrical composition i.e. axial composition this is a composition balanced around an axis.

[edit] Hierarchy

Hierarchy in architecture is the articulation of spaces and forms in order of importance. The articulation is achieved by differentiating size, shape, colour, placement of forms and spaces relatively to each other. Hierarchy is used to emphasise a particular item, to influence the order in which a range of items are experienced.

[edit] Transformation

Transformation is the principle by which an architectural concept, structure or organisation can be altered through a series of discrete manipulations and permutations in response to a specific context or set conditions without loss of identity of the concept. Transformation of form is achieved by changing size, shape, rotating, stretching, morphing and so on.

[edit] Datum

A datum is a line, plane or volume which, by its continuity and regularity, serves to gather, measure and organise a pattern of forms and spaces. Datum binds together the design elements. It can a line, level, road, flat plane and so on.

[edit] Rhythm

Rhythm is a unifying movement characterised by a patterned repetition or alteration of formal elements or motifs in the same or modified manner. Rhythm differs from repetition in that in the former the shapes change but it is still recognizable, whereas in the later the shape remains constant.

[edit] Pattern

Pattern refers to groups of elements or motifs that repeat in a predictable manner. It is a structure that organises parts of a composition.

[edit] Repetition

Repetition refers to the repeated use of shape, colour or other elements of a design. It creates a visual echo and reinforces certain aspects of the work. Repetition can create structure, movement, harmony and unity.

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