Architectural Terms

Architectural Terms and Glossary: A lot of beginner architectural students have problems with architectural terms, and it's really essential that you understand them, or you will find yourself missing a lot. It would be very hard for you to learn much without first a thorough understanding of the essential architectural terms. We will include terms that are very hard to find exact definition for, in the context of architecture, and terms that you don't usually find in architectural dictionary. The terms are organized in accordance with design process rather than alphabetically. This is a unique innovative way of teaching architectural terms and it helps you understand them better. We will start by defining the design process itself: 

What is the Design Process?

It's the process of designing a building, and typically consists of four design phases. When you want to design a building, ask yourself what are you trying to accomplish? Mastering the design process takes time, it's a lifelong process. Any information and decisions made in any of these phases or stages forms the basis of the subsequent stages. In other words, design is seldom a linear a process. Instead, one typically moves back and forth between the phases, allowing ideas from more detailed designs to influence and modify the overall design direction previously established.

Moreover, in practice these phases often blend into one another.

The four Stages are:

  1. Programming Stage: Programming means determining the set of needs that a building needs to fulfill, how many bedroom, washrooms, offices..etc.
  2. Schematic Design Phase: After coming up with a sound program for a building project, the focus in the design process shifts from what the problems are to how to solve those problems. Manning during schematic design, the focus is on the "scheme", and overall high-level design. However,in the schematic design phase minor details should be ignored to instead focus on creating a coherent holistic solution that encompasis the project as a whole.
  3. Design Development Phase: Here the scheme is further refined into the final design. Instead of the focus been on the project as a whole as in previous phases, during this design development stage, in becomes important to pat attention to details. You must give individual attention to each space, each part and each detail of the whole project leaving nothing to chance. 4)Construction Document Phase Here the focus shifts from design to communicating the design and providing all necessary and complete information for construction.For complete details about the design process: Design Process

What is an Organization Diagrams?

Organization means the systematic arranging of parts (interdependent or coordinated parts) into a coherent and sound unity of functions whole. Diagram, in architecture, means a drawing (not necessarily representational) that outlines, explains, or clarifies the arrangement and relations of the parts of the whole. Together they mean a concept diagrams, which suggest the way in which spaces need to be organized, e.g. hierarchy of spaces, zoning of spaces relative to privacy, adjacency, access to daylight, etc. There are five types of organizations: Centralized Organizations Linear Organizations Radial Organizations Clustered Organizations Grid Organizations

What is a Parti?

It's the basic scheme or concept for an architectural design, represented by a diagram or sketch from which an architectural project will be developed. In other words,it's the main underlying idea behind any work of architecture. The word Parti or Parti pris comes from the French Prendre parti which means" to make a decision. It means the big idea or the big organizing thought or decision behind an Architect's design presented in the form of a basic diagram or a simple statement, or both. Structural elements (Architectural elements).

More terms definition coming soon:

  • Arch
  • Atrium
  • Beam
  • Buttress
  • Cantilever
  • Column
  • Dome
  • Facade
  • Pier
  • Post and lintel
  • Span
  • Truss
  • Vault

Design Courses: