Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Learn how to design using scale to evoke emotion and give meaning to architectural work.
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Hi, I’m Doug Patt and this is 50 ways to design like an architect. Short videos with tips about how the architect does their job; this is part 4; scale. The scale we’ll be discussing today is the comparative size of elements of a building and the user’s relationship to them. Some buildings are scaled to the people who use them; that is the windows, doors, roofs, materials and overall size lends itself to the human proportion. Some buildings are scaled more toward their environment or purpose; that is the building elements lend themselves to present a grant overpowering or even transcending appearance. Then there are buildings whose scale is purposefully ambiguous. This is the Mark Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. The façade and the elements that make up the elevation don’t get many clues to their actual size. A correctly scaled figure could be anyone of these 4 options. Surprisingly, a grown adult is only this tall with a building as backdrop; so in a way, like its name sake, the building has a humble demeanor but a monumental presence. Regardless of the approach, the land which the architect chooses to manipulate scale affects the user by making a building feel comfortable, divine, overwhelming or even unreal. We’ll see you next time.