The Importance of Proportion and Scale in Architecture
Have you ever felt overwhelmed in a place because of its dimensions? When designing, considering the proportion and scale is fundamental. The magic of an architect lies in his or her ability to play between the beauty and the engineering properties. Spaces, furniture, and products are created for people. And what do people want? My answer is: an individual joyful exprience that can transmit them something, a place where they feel comfortable.
During the human history, the sense of scale has been created through people's experience of the world, their leraning of the average size of humans, nature, animals, landscapes etc. When it comes to buildings, we use the human body as the main reference of scale, measuring the individual parts of a space (such as doors, windows, ceiling height, and furniture).
When you design a new space, you need to take into consideration the context; kids need smaller tables, the Nordics need taller doors etc. Your design should take into account the context of human proportion. I have seen big houses with small furniture that look ridiculously petite and I have also seen small apartments with huge modular sofas that take up tp 70% of the living room. Please stop doing that! Think about the proportion of your building.
If you want to use that medium-sized sofa because it is comfortable, use it! But please think if you really need that mansion with an eight-meter-tall ceiling. I know architecture is sometimes used as a statment – it seems like a formula "the bigger the housing, the more powerful the person" is often applied. But hey, it is 2020 and we are smarter. We know it is not about the size, but about achiving an optimal design in which you feel comfortable. I am not telling you to build a Tokio-style 38m2 stuido, but to think about the future. Design smarter, leave more space for the garden, and construct the space you really need.
Proportion and scale are important aspects of a good architectural result. it takes effort and skill to balance out the horizontal and vertical dimesions of a buildng in order to create an overall sense of visual harmony.
Achieving the right scale during the design process can be difficult. It takes experience and sensibility because it requires projecting oneself into the imagined (building or furniture) in order to predict how something is going to feel once it is built.
Now you know: next time you design, think about who is going to use it, where it is going to be placed, and how humans are going to feel in it.
Former ARCHIP student
Hey reader! My name is Isaac. I am a graduated architect from ARCHIP, luckily I had the experience to live in Prague for three years. Currently I live in Mexico and work as a freelance designer. Overall I'm passionate about aesthetics, stories, cafés and travelling. Thank you for reading a piece of my words!