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Why Architecture Details Yield Architecture Styles

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © zanten.net | Flickr

Architecture details come together to yield more than the sum of their parts. Individually, a detail can be observed through sight, touch, or even sound — and it is the architecture detail that can leave a lasting impression on a building occupant. You see, as a building occupant travels through an environment, it is the architecture details that they come into contact with most. They touch the railing. They see the glazing framework. Or they even form a first impression because of the awning detail cantilevered overhead.

The way that an architect incorporates architecture details into their design is critical. Together these details guide building occupants along their journey through a given environment — and together these details also tell a story about the architecture. The quality of a building can be revealed through its details. Are they carefully designed? Are they carefully constructed? Do they guide the eye toward a next architectural moment? Yes, it is architecture details that shed light for the occupant on how deeply a design was thought out.

Furthermore, architecture details contribute greatly toward the architectural style of a building. You see, the details add up — and their summation can result in architectural style. In other words, architectural details (if executed well) could become your architecture’s “brand”. After all, your building could be remembered for one detail that is well done, but it could also bring the sense of an architectural style if such details repeat, evolve, or juxtapose one another.

So, remember to think through the architecture details of your project. Do they reflect the quality level of your building? Are they situated so that they can be seen, touched, or heard by occupants? And do they align for occupants that journey through your designed environment — where each detail leads to the next? The latter are just a few suggestions to heighten the level of your architecture details. And this is all-important because it becomes a unique way for your to connect with your building occupants. After all, it through the architecture details that your building occupants can be “touched” by your building.

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what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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