A guide to important Architecture terms

building information modeling

One of the ancient most professions, Architecture is the building block of society since the beginning of evolution. The creators of one of three necessities “Food, Shelter and Water”, an Architect is someone whose vision and ideas creates the “shelter” we all need.

Today Architecture may have diversified into various specializations and streams, and the essential core has not changed. The job of designing the perfect structure and implementing the right technology to give the structure a reality is what an architect does.

However, even though this subject is as old as Medicine, on careful observation, one can say that Architecture has evolved to a considerable extent with time and change of Technological advancements.

The History of Architecture

The Architectural history of the world is vast and very intricate. Every region has its history, influence and style of building structures for ages together. Global Architectural evolution, however, can be broadly classified into a specific era. The form and buildings created during this particular era, is not just engineering marvels but also have stood the calamities of time and proven how strong it is.

The evolution of humanity can be picturized through this historical accounts of the golden eras of Architectural miracles. Connecting societies and creating a trademark style of work, these periods of boom also played a massive role in shaping the governments of the time.

The Classic Age

This is the time when Greece and Rome were dominating the world economy. Using advanced science and engineering technology, massive monuments and buildings were being created during this period. Mathematical analysis, geometry, soil chemistry, Wind direction and speed were just a few highly advanced methods implemented to create every structure.

Public buildings like temples, amphitheatre, public bathhouses and stadiums were their legacy that had stood the wrath of nature and is still stunning to look at after thousands of years. Arches, domes and vaults were usual add-ons on every Roman structure.

The art of space-saving creations at low cost with best possible strength is an inspiration from this golden era of Architecture.

The Gothic Age

The main subjects of this era were about vertical height buildup and light penetration rather than functionality. Pointed arches, buttresses that are open-ended, dramatically sized doorways, windows and ceilings, etc. were the main focal points. Cathedral Notre Dame is the best example of the Gothic Era Architecture.

The Renaissance Era

15th century brought some hugely inspiring scientific implementation in the field of Architecture. The Gothic Era designs were given a fresh perspective and makeover based on the mathematical ratios, musical harmonies and astronomical angulations.

Columns, Pilasters, Arches and DOmes were more subtle and less daunting than before. The dark appeal was also significantly reduced, giving every structure a softer appearance. The Medici Palace, created by Michelozzo di Bartolommeo, is one of the more exceptional specimen representation of this era.

The Misshapen Era

A beautiful amalgamation of grotesque and beauty gave the structures created during this era a dramatic appeal. The real-life culmination of the fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’, this era was all about inspiration from the world around and ancient roman art. Religious influence gave the structures created during this period a feeling of warmth and lightheartedness.

The 16th and 17th century marked the perfect time of this era. One of the classic examples of the artwork created during this period is Louis XIV’s palace in Versailles. The entire city of Vatican was also built during this period.

The Pure era

The beginning of modern-day architecture falls under this era. Inspired by the development around and the changes happening in the society, the designs of this period were more transparent and open in concept.

Industrial techniques were incorporated into traditional crafts, and thus the designs were created. Social Reforms inspired a specific style and design concept that was completely different from the previous eras.

Every design created was more about sustainability, capacity and cost than grandeur and exuberance. Germany was the primary influencer of this kind of design implementations. The successful completion of Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier and Barcelona Pavilion by Miles Van Der Rohe was the beginning of the change in designing techniques of buildings and structures.

The Era of the Brutes

Mainly this form of design began in Britain and was based on the principle idea of Brutality. The creations of this period in the English countryside was more themed on Radical and confrontational vibes.

The controversial Architectural movement of 1950 was actually what inspired this kind of metamorphosis in Great Britain. The Economist BUilding of London, The Barbican Estate of London etc. are a perfect example of the structural creations during this period.

The Postmodern Era

In the early years of 1970traditional and conventional style were kept aside to pave the way for a more experimental and personal style of design. Unusual materials, unique designs and self-thought of ideas were all amalgamated together to create architectural marvels. Cubism, Dadaism, and Russian Avant Grande formed the base inspiration for all these designs and creations of this period.

Important Architectural Terms to learn and know about

Architecture is a very vast subject that uses specific coined terms very often. It is essential to know these terms well to understand the basics of Architecture well. Some of the most critical terms include -

- BIM - or Building Information Modeling - A 3D technique to create a virtual model for the clients to understand the projects better

- Building envelope - A separator between the exterior and interior of a building

- Bumwad - the tracing paper used to make building sketches

- Cantilever - Beam with one anchored side. Used to denote overhanging planes

- Cladding - Application of multiple layers of product for protection against leaking

- Corbel - A supporting structure made of building material that projects out from the wall

- Diagram - An outline drawn to explain the structure to be built

- Facade - The outer side of a building facing the open street.

- Fenestration - Openings created in a building like windows, vents, doors etc.

- Finial - The decorative miniature structure placed at the tip of any buildings for ornamentation purpose.

- Floor Plan - Layout of a building with detailed notes of dimensions

- Scale - A triangular ruler used to measure dimensions

- Green Building - A selfbuilding information modeling, sustainable architecture that is constructed considering Environmental elements.

- Tectonics - Assembling and designing of materials to give a structure to a construction work

- Truss - Supporting structures like beams and rods that provides the basic framework of a building

- Balconet: A false balcony or railing outside the window

- Belt Course - a moulding that separates the wall surface of a facade horizontally.

- Bracket - Additional ornamental support of windows and doors.

- Casement - SIngle window that swings only on one side

- Circulation - The airflow within the structure being designed

- Dependency - A secondary building connected to a more substantial main structure.

- Motif - designs created on the wall with paint or any other material

- Half Timbered Building - a timber-framed building

- Hip Roof - An inwardly sloped roof with four walls facing outwards

- Pier - A square-shaped supporting structure that is built at ground level

- Rough Hewn - Hand cut exposed lumbers in the structural constructions

- Shed - A sloped roof

- Spire - A cone-shaped roof with the pointed tip

- Sash - The movable or fixed window part that holds the glazing in place.

- Transom - The small window situated above a door with fixed glass.

- Turret: A small tower at the corner of a building.

These terms are the most common words used during any discussion related to the field of Architecture. Knowing them well will only help you understand the subject better.


1305 Words


Jan 27, 2020


3 Pages

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