Importance Of Form In Architecture

published On Feb 23 2017

Interior forms

“Architectural form is the point of contact between mass and space … Architectural forms, textures, materials, modulation of light and shade, color, all combine to inject a quality or spirit that articulates space. The quality of the architecture will be determined by the skill of the designer in using and relating these elements, both in the interior spaces and in the spaces around buildings”. - Edmund N. Bacon.The Design of Cities

Architectural forms

Image credit: Image credit: Famed Architects

Form in architecture not just plays a very crucial role but it is probably the most debated subject as well. It is not just simply the shape or configuration of a building but it comprises of lot many elements be it a point, line, plane or a volume. So it may be any text, textures, images that we use in our design. Any architecture without any form can never be imagined so the importance of forms are listed below:

Regular Forms

Regular forms are more often seen in buildings where one or more than one elements are repeated in the design in some fairly and orderly manner that gives a clear look to the design. Such designs merge with the existing skyline very easily without creating any rough effect on the surroundings and a very peaceful vision in the eyes of a viewer

Remember these designs are generally more stable and symmetrical in nature..!!

regular forms

Image credit: Ellicott Square Building

Irregular Forms

Almost all the parts/elements of irregular forms are dissimilar from one another in nature creating a chaotic look for the viewer. All the elements are placed in a puzzled manner creating a unique design that results out in a very challenging way to the other surrounding buildings. Many of the master architects like Zaha Hadid have 99% of their interest in this kind of form which let their output come out in a unique manner.

Irregular forms

Image credit: Isidor's Fugue

Regular or Irregular Mix Form

Be it a regular or irregular form, transformations (additive or subtractive) in existing form makes the design even more appealing and unique. This actually results in losing the initial form of the design and making a building look completely different during all the previous stages. This kind of transformation through series of discrete manipulations creates an infinite number of permutations in terms of design options.

regular or irregular mix form

Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Image credit: Denton Corker Marshall

Forms Inspired By Nature

It is not always about the just the regular or irregular forms, designers can find inspiration from anywhere especially the nature and this specific kind of inspiration is actually called the biomimetic architecture. The forms are inspired so much from the nature that what seems so simple in nature can actually translate to better design solution by a designer. These design solutions are generally more efficient, sustainable and healthy.

By the way, These types of forms are not actually about replicating the natural form, it is more about understanding the rules governing the form.

Forms inspired by nature

Beijing National Stadium

Image credit: World Stadiums

Unusual Forms

There then comes a time when people started preferring some unusual forms so as to keep themselves a point away from those usual kinds of regular and irregular forms. These forms could be in the shape of a piano, a pineapple, an elephant or anything like that and let me tell you not to confuse these unusual forms with those above stated Biomimetic forms.

Unusual forms

The Piano House

Image Credit: Unusual Places

Different Forms In Interior

Forms aren't just important only in exteriors, it plays equally important in role in interiors as well to create a dramatic effect with its distinctive features in the ceiling, walls, arches, flooring, columns etc. Different forms in interior create different kind of moods be it mysterious, romantic, extravagant, bold, lavish etc. By putting few key elements together, one can enjoy unique form in its own way.

forms in interiors

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Geometry And Architectural Forms

Geometry and architectural forms are totally interlinked. There are a lot of forms that are totally derived by using various kinds of formulas like Golden section, Pythagoras, Alberti, Kepler, Modular etc that shows the coherence of composition and geometry. The result of these formulas are generally seen as the ideal proportion and epitome of aesthetics and harmony.

Geometry and architectural forms

Image credit: Le Corbusier

So, these were the different kinds of forms which show their importance in their own ways. Next time while designing out any form, do remember all the different kinds of relation to forms with architecture so as to get the fruitful results..!!

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