Architecture Deconstructed

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I inspire new possibilities to deepen love, intimacy and self-expression. I mainly write articles about that, but you'll also find refrences on design, fitness and finance. More

Architecture is a complex craft. There are a lot of things you need to get right for the end result to be great. In this article I'll share the basic frames which through you need to design your building. These frames correlate with scales of inspection, from largest to smallest.


Where the building will be placed should always be considered first because it will set the first set of constraints to what your building will be comes. I mean constraints in a positive sense because if you don’t define the wrong answers you can’t land on a right answer. In fact, the location may be an opportunity. the The guiding principle I tend to use when considering the location is that the interior of the building belongs to itself, the exterior belongs to it’s surroundings. Look around and see what colors are prevalent and try to relate to that.


Here is where you consider the utility of the building. Think of it as a machine and ask yourself what the machine should do? What activities will it need to facilitate? In this frame of analysis you gain understanding of the kinds of spaces and rooms required, how big they need to be and how they should relate. Typical example is how many bathrooms should be where in the building.


Perhaps the least interesting, but a crucial consideration needs to be how to make the building structurally sound. This is not a one time event in the project but will interject when needed and then of course thoroughly reviewed at a certain point. The more irregular the shape of your building, the more important it is that you check early on that your dimensions are realistic so that you don’t spend time in vain on something that won’t work.


At this scale we are looking at what atmospheres are created and the flow of experience people have in the building. This can be seen as a smaller scale version of the Program frame. This is a good time to point out that you can create a visually beautiful room, but not have it be pleasant to be in. Not to mention be a room that doesn’t fit well with the rest of the building. That’s why all these frames are necessary.


Pretty straight forward: what material will you use and why? Does it fit well with the theme of the building? Does it create the right atmosphere? Will it facilitate or impede function? Again, will it just look good or will it do good? And to be realistic, what is the cost impact?


An architect needs to have basic knowledge of how a building is put together. The thickness or walls, the hinges of windows, elevator shaft dimensions. At some point even door handles need to be selected. Or if you’re inspired, you can design your own.

Putting it all together

Can you articulate through words and your design the relationship between your rooms, the material used, construction details and the resulting atmosphere? Can you argue for the effects you create? Do you realize the consequences of your selected material and dimensions? Does your design create a cohesive theme and logic in relation to the location, program and structure? Can you show the reasoning behind how you dealt with the projects requirements and limitations? Room, material and detail constitute the smallest scale. Location, program and structure constitute the medium scale. Beyond that, at the largest scale of impact we find architecture that:

  • Adds to the economy
  • Adds to the social sphere
  • Adds to the ecology
Last updated 19 June, 2017


I inspire new possibilities to deepen love, intimacy and self-expression. I mainly write articles about that, but you'll also find refrences on design, fitness and finance. More

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