December 21, 2015

20 Architecture Terms You Need To Know

  • Blog
  • Design

There’s a common misconception that the art of architecture is purely visual. To truly appreciate a structure, it helps to also understand the scientific and even the philosophic tones that are expressed within a piece of work. To that end, it helps to know a handful of fundamental vocabulary terms that architects employ to describe their work. We have provided a handful of terms below to get the “parti” started. Study hard, there’s a test afterwards!

20 Architecture Terms You Need To Know

Juxtaposition – the act of placing to things side by side oftentimes for the purpose of comparison or contrast

Symmetry – correct or pleasing proportion of parts of a thing

Parti – the “big idea” or the primary thought or decision behind an architect’s design

Form – the shape and structure of a thing that distinguishes it from its material

Articulation – a state of being jointed where the united parts stand distinct and precise in relation to each other

Balance – the harmonious arrangement of the parts in a composition or design

Composition – the act of combining parts or elements to create a whole or a pleasing and unified form

Modular – a design approach that allows parts to be created independently and combined to create either a singular form or can be used in different models

Façade – the face of a building or structure that looks out into an open space

Vernacular – A form of construction concerned with domestic function rather than monumental buildings

Fenestration – the arrangement of openings within a building

Rectilinear – a form consisting of moving in a straight line or lines

Aesthetic – The philosophy behind a pleasing appearance or form

Holistic – An all-inclusive design perspective. All parts contribute to a unified whole.

Motifs – a repeated figure or theme throughout the design of a form

Dissonance – a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two contrasting or disharmonious elements.

Contemporary – Modern: a form or design that is consistent with the present

Eclectic – a style that draws and expresses interest from a diverse array of sources

Organic – A design approach which promotes harmony between a habitation and the natural world in a single, interrelated composition

Diagram – a drawing or an outline of the form that explains the relationship of the parts to the whole

Ok, so we were kidding about the test, but these terms will come in handy whether you’re looking to start up a conversation with an architect, a realtor or even that really bored-looking bank teller that thinks he’s being subtle while checking his watch every 20 seconds. You might be surprised who you’ll impress!

If you enjoyed reading this blog, then please share using one of the following options:

Tell Us a Little About Your Project.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.