How do Architectural Forms affect Architectural Design?

How do Architectural Forms affect Architectural Design?


Updated on
In Architecture

What do you see when you look at a building? The answer may vary according to each one's perspective. Some may look at the volume, the color, texture, or the design of the structure. The foremost aspect that identifies all of these elements is the "form" of the structure. Form refers to the shape or envelope of the structure that is defined externally, while the internal volume of the structure that forms the envelope is the "space". These two terms can be very essential while designing a structure. The form and function of a building are said to be one, as they act as a point of contact between the mass and space.

To design a building, architectural form articulates the space by the textures, materials, light and shadow, orientation, and the sense of color that may affect the psyche of a person standing in that space. Architectural form is defined by the space and the style of architecture used in the design. The architectural style is essential in making the buildings to be iconic and memorable. Various architects express their style and signature in designing a building that makes it unique. Concepts are translated into forms, expressing the cultural and symbolic intervention that transforms spaces. The architectural form can be the ultimate definition of design. Many architects such as Rem Koolhas, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, etc, associate their design with art and object as architecture. Mentioned below are some examples that might help in comprehending how architectural design influences the form of a structure.

Before you move ahead, we suggest you to read Importance of Form In Architecture

The Pyramids of Egypt – The Form of Solids

The 3-dimensional volumetric solid structure is a perfect example of architectural form in primary solids. The shape itself identifies as the name of the structure as well as the form. The most basic shape of geometry forms the consistency and stability that is required for the form of the structure. The design of the pyramids evolved from the ziggurats from Mesopotamia, dating back to 4000-3500 BCE. The shape of the Egyptian pyramids is said to represent the primordial mound from which the earth was believed to be created. The monuments were built with a highly reflective white limestone that appeared majestic when viewed from a distance. Pyramids also represent the descending rays of the sun and are often referred to as solar luminescence.

Pyramids of Giza.

Sydney Opera House – Inspired by Nature

The Sydney Opera House is an iconic structure in Australia. The Opera House is enclosed in white cement tiles and creates an abstract composition of shells. An example of contemporary architecture and expressionist style is a unique design that represents nature in its architectural form. Although the design of the shells was a difficult aspect of the structure, the 14 shells or the 14 separate roofs would form a sphere if combined. Jorn Utzon who designed the Opera House claimed that the inspiration for the roof came to him by peeling of an orange.

You will surely like reading 5 Most Popular Architects and their Styles

Sydney Opera House

Marina Bay Sands – The Tall and Wide

The seaside oasis stands tall among the large-scale architectural projects. The 10 million sq. ft. mixed-use integrated resort captures a vibrant public life. The architectural form was integrated to create the city’s first public place at the district-urban scale. Moshe Safdie designed the structure with a concept of three double-loaded towers with views of the city on the east and the ocean on the west. The form of the slab was twisted slightly to create a dance-like relation between the two parts of the tower by highlighting the slenderness of the building to create an illusion of six towers rather than three. The towers are linked by an atrium at the bottom and the top houses a SkyPark covering an area of 1 hectare that accommodates a public observatory, gardens, swimming pool, restaurant, and panoramic views of the city.

Marina Bay Sands- Architectural Building

Solomon R. Guggenheim – The Inverted Form

A masterpiece of architectural form designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an iconic project of the 20th century. The form of structure was designed to break free from the traditional museum layout. This New York City landmark is seen to be in the form of an inverted funnel while looking from the streets. Hence, the Gallery was designed as a continuous ramp that loops around the large central atrium under a huge dome skylight. Wright designed the structure to receive the visitors at the top and continue their way downwards through the ramp, surrounded by displays of art.

Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Unite d’Habitation – The Façade of Voids

The Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, France, was the first large-scale project of Le Corbusier after the effects of the second world war. With a brutalist style of architecture, he designed the structure as a mixed-use residential block 18 stories high. Using beton-brut concrete along with wooden planks accounted for a cost-efficient solution. The solid mass structure was designed with a series of balconies and deep-set windows to form a grid revealing the internal floor plates. The multiple void structures stand out in the center of the city with colorful walls and windows that provide adequate natural light inside. The sizes of the deep windows vary according to the type of residential unit within the building.

Facades are one of the key elements that build the aesthetic quality of any building. You must check out 7 Materials That Look The Best On The Facade

Unite d'Habitation in Paris.

Pompidou Centre – Looking Inside Out

The inside-out landmark in Paris designed by Renzo Piano is referred to as a high-tech architectural masterpiece. The form of the building was rendered such that the structure and mechanical services were visible on the exterior of the building. The central glass structure was enveloped by a frame of steel and colored tubes, located in the heart of Paris. The largest museum of art in Europe is a six-story column-free structure designed for an easily accessible internal space by providing all the services, and elevators on its exterior façade.

Also, take a read to Top 10 Natural Building Materials For Sustainable Architecture

Pompidou Centre

Architectural form is the essence of any architectural design. Numerous such structures around us convey the fundamentals of space and mass, resulting in meticulous, and beautiful architectural designs. The only task left is to observe the structure to understand its form and mask in the glory of design whether you’re an architect, a professional, or an enthusiast. To explore is to see the core of architecture at its finest.
There are various such structures that have a deep concept of architectural form, and we would love to hear what you have to share with us.

Lastly, take a read to the Importance Of Glass In Architecture Design

and, 10 Unique Building Materials That are Perfect for Modern Homes


Tags architectural forms examplesUnderstanding Architectural Form

Article Category Architecture

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