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Ordering Principles in Architecture


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Ordering principles are visual methods that allow the form and space of a building to co-exist in order to make a design complete.

Architecture is mostly a creative process primarily coming connected with the imagining power of the creator. Certain principles of order can be applied to it design a more cohesive construction plan.

These principles of design are an extremely useful tool for understanding visual arrangement. It is significant to note that these orders serve an important purpose of initiating creativity and thereby appreciating art in various forms.

In architecture "order" refers to a system of rules that structures the shape, layout, and proportions of the design.


Six ordering principles used in architecture are as follows:


- Axis

- Symmetry

- Hierarchy

- Datum

- Rhythm

- Repetition

- Transformation


Source: urdersignmag.com


We shall discuss each of these briefly:


- Axis

Axis refers to a line established by two points in space about which form and spaces can be arranged in a symmetrical and balanced manner. An axis can also be emphasized by the edges along its length.


- Symmetry

It is a balanced distribution and arrangement of equivalent forms and spaced on opposite sides of a dividing line, plane, center, or axis. It is one of the most widely used principles in architectural designs and something that is present abundant in nature. There are two types of symmetry, bilateral and radial symmetry respectively.

Bilateral symmetry refers to the arrangement of equivalent elements on the opposite sides of an axis.

Radial symmetry refers to the arrangement of elements where everything is radiating from the center.



- Hierarchy

It is the articulation of significance of a form or space by its shape, size, or placement relative to other forms and spaces of the organization.


- Datum

Datum can be defined as a line, plane, or volume by which its continuity and regularity serve to gather, measure and organize a pattern of forms and spaces. It usually binds together the design elements.


- Rhythm

Rhythm is a unifying movement characterized by a patterned repetition or alteration of formal elements or motifs in the same or modified manner


- Transformation

Transformation stated the principle that an architectural concept can be retained or altered through a series of discrete manipulations and permutations in response to a specific context or a set of conditions.



The real win of an architect is in creating a balance between the usage of these principles and yet designing the variety. Architecture is a field that is evolving every new day and so any design not only represents the vision of the Architect but also a reflection of times and experiences.



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