Importance of scale in architecture

Importance & Types of Scale in Architecture

Scale is referred as the ratio of the size of the object to the actual size of the object. It gives the actual size or dimension of an object or building. The term scale can also be referred to as the instrument used to measure the various objects or forms. The units of scale are feet (‘), inches (“), metre (m), centimetre (cm), millimeter (mm), etc. Scale in Architecture plays a vital role in design process and execution. 

importance of ScalesScale in Architecture has a lot of importance –

  1. Before planning for a building, the scale needs to be set to make the work easy.
  2. With use of scale, the sizes of the objects are set as; it is to be made in miniature scale, human scale or architectural / monumental scale.
  3. With the setting of a correct scale, the composition becomes more accurate and aesthetically pleasing.
  4. The architect use the miniature scale for making his drawings on the paper and for making models.
  5. With due reference to the scales, the sizes of the forms are set in a monument.
  6. In case of Taj Mahal or Humayun Tomb, the monumental scale was set to make it look more pleasing and to consider it as a monument.
    Modular Man by Le Corbusier

    Modular Man by Le Corbusier

Types of Scale in Architecture:

Various Scales which Architects use in their daily life are –

Human Scale

It is defined as the scale with reference to the human dimensions and all the sizes of the objects are set accordingly. We may say it as the scale of all the objects and the buildings used for daily purpose. All the sizes are convenient and handy in accordance to the people living in the building. The sizes of chairs, tables, staircase treads and risers, doors, windows; all are set according to the human dimensions and their use.

Stairs for human scales

The human scale in architecture can be explained with the height of the building by giving reference to the human dimensions and human scale. It can also be explained by the use of various other features and elements such as colors, textures, size of windows and doors etc.

In case, if dark colors are used in a room, then it looks to be more smaller than compared to the use of light colors. Large windows make room look bigger as compared to the smaller windows which make the room look smaller. Textured walls are used in the big halls or rooms to get a feel of nearness in room. The textured walls enhance the beauty and helps in feeling the less distance between two objects or walls of room. The best examples for human scales are – houses and automobiles which we use are built in this scale.Lady sitting on chair - human scale

Miniature Scale

When the scale of the object is set in such a manner that the size of the object or building decreases from the actual size then it is termed as miniature scale. Architects use it for making plans and models. It is also used by the miniature artists to derive various forms and sculptures. In our daily life if we want to compare then the small ant is in miniature scale to the human being. In case of model making, the actual dimensions are reduced to make appropriate models. Madurodam Miniature Park near Rotterdam is a best example of miniature scale. It is 1:25 live scale model replicas of the beautiful cities of Holland. 

Madurodam miniature park - miniature scale of hollandMadurodam

Monumental Scale

When the size of the object or a building gets increased than the actual size then it is termed as monumental scale. The scale is much bigger than human scale and generally used for public places. The places where large crowds gather such places need to be constructed on monumental scale.

Taj Mahal Agra monumental scale

Taj Mahal

The Buland Darwaza is in monumental scale, because its size is far-far bigger than the actual human dimensions. The Taj Mahal is also constructed in monumental scale so as to give the feel of grandeur.

Buland Darwaza Fatehpur Sikri

Buland Darwaza

Reims Cathedral Entrance Scale

Reims Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vision Scale or Architectural Scale

It is not the actual scale. It is the size of the object seen with reference to the object around it. In case of the elevation of the house, the height of windows and doors defines the height of the building and hence is set according to the architectural scale. The architectural standards are set and accordingly the scale is set for them. The façade made in this scale makes the composition more aesthetic and pleasing.

Visual Architectural Scale House Elevation

Image Source: www.unsplash.com

Guneet Singh Khurana
Ar. Guneet Singh Khurana is a visionary architect, author and currently working in Design Arch as Principal Architect. He holds B.Arch degree from Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. His creative approach and interest in designing inspired him to pursue future in architecture. He has an extensive experience in the field of architecture and urban design. He is the founder of Archistudent.net (a resource portal dedicated to providing information and knowledge to the growing community of architecture, interior design, landscape and planning). He is recipient of the PAFE Award for excellence in the field of Environment friendly architecture and University Scholarship for excellence in academics.

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