Elements of Architectural Design: Formal
(Page 7 of 9)
Proportion is the term used to describe the relationship between two things of different size. In architecture we are looking for the proportional relationship between spaces and the size of the human body. The proportion of the room can greatly affect the way a person feels in a space. We often talk about this kind of proportion as scale when we speak about a building. Ordinarily, an architect tries to design a space so that people feel comfortable moving about in it. For that reason, a bedroom may have a much lower ceiling than an auditorium. where many people will mingle. Sometimes a building is designed so a space is purposely out of proportion to human scale. An example of this would be the towering spaces inside cathedrals that make people feel quite insignificant in comparison to the awesome power of God. Architects also deliberately design spaces with changing scale by varying heights of ceilings and sizes of rooms. This makes the occupants movement through the space more dynamic.