The primary elements of design can be identified as dot, line, shape, texture, color, space, direction, size, scale, proportions are other basic qualities that define a visual entity.
1) Meaning of scale
- An object by which an unknown quantity is equated to a known quantity.
- The foot rule that is used for drawing is also a scale.
- It helps in drawing lines of specific known lengths.
- Scale refers to the size of an object (a whole) in relationship to another object.
- Scale refers to the relationship between two or more objects, one that has a commonly known size.
- In most cases, the size of objects is compared to our own human scale.
- The relative size of different objects or of an object to a common standard.
- It is a progressive classification of some quality like size, amount, importance, or rank.
- A single object has no scale until it’s seen in comparison with something else.
3) Drawing Scale
- This is a scaled drawing.
- The ‘scale’ used here is not architectural scale – it is a drawing scale.
- Scale is thus also proportions, when a drawing scale represents say 100 cms by 1 cm.
4) Architectural scale ( Conti….)
- Architectural Scale is thus the means by which space, materials, sizes and proportions are made to suit Man.
- Scale in architecture can also be seen as a measure of the relative size of a building or building component in relation to a known unit of measure or customary size for such a component. A person evaluates how large a building or building component is in relation to the human body size and his or her memory of the expected size for such a component.
- Human scale is related to the human If the door is too high or the seat of the chair too small it is out of scale. When the human being feels ‘comfortable’ about any architecture it is to scale.
- When the length and width of a room are incorrectly proportioned then the space can be called out of scale.
- When a window is too large or two small for a wall it is not to scale.
- When the toilet is equal to the bedroom it is out of scale.
- When the height of a room is too much it is out of scale.
5) Types of Scales
In architecture we deal primarily in Three scales:
- Human scale
- Intimate scale
- Monumental Scale
- There is also another kind of scale which uses exaggeration. It is known as Hierarchical Scale.
i) Human Scale
- Humans interact with their environments based on their physical dimensions, capabilities and limits.
- Buildings scaled to human physical capabilities have steps, doorways, railings, work surfaces, seating, shelves, fixtures, walking distances, and other features that fit well to the average person.
ii) Intimate Scale
- Intimate sizes are smaller than what is normal.
- These don’t shock you, but they are smaller than what we expect.
- Not everybody would recognize intimate as a separate category.
- It is more of a sub-category of human-scale.
iii) Monumental Scale
- Designs that dominate the immediate environment. If a building, monument, statue, sculpture, etc is a monumental space, meaning that it is giant compared to human size, is because it wants to show that what it stands for is bigger than life itself (meaning religion, political ideologies, some memorial, etc). Monumental scale is impressive. Our public buildings are monumental.
- Buildings, statues, and memorials are constructed in a scale larger than life as a social/cultural signal that the subject matter is also larger than life.
- Many architects, particularly in the Modernist movement, design buildings that prioritize structural purity and clarity of form over concessions to human scale.
- Our most universal standard of measurement is the human body; that is, our experience of living in our own bodies.
- We judge the appropriateness of size of objects by that measure.
- Architectural spaces intended to impress are usually scaled to a size that dwarfs the human viewer. This is a device often used in public spaces, such as churches or centers of government.
- The same principle is often applied to corporate spaces through which the enterprise wishes to impress customers with its power and invincibility.
- In contrast, the proportions of a private home are usually more in scale with human measure, and as a result it appears more friendly, comfortable, less intimidating.
iv) Hierarchal Scale
- Hierarchal Scale deliberate use of relative size in a work of art, in order to communicate differences in importance, Almost always, larger means more important, and smaller means less important.
- Look as this bas-relief sculpture. Notice the size of the king compared to the size of others. (A bas-relief sculpture is a work that is sculpted in the front only. The images appear to be lifted from the surface, but they are not totally free and a true sculpture in the round).
It is important to appreciate architectural scale to create functional and beautiful architecture. It is also essential to make the architecture acceptable to the users as properly scaled elements will meet the expectations of the users.
6) Aspects of architectural scale
- These are Physical, proportional and human.
- These classifications are not water tight and will be seen in all designs in some way or the other.
- Physical scale deals with the use of materials.
- Materials have an associational connotation of strength so it is difficult to imagine an airport hangar covered with thatch as thatch is associated with only small huts.
- However, modern technology has changed some associations as huge buildings appear to have been made in glass (of course these have steel or concrete structures!)
i) Use of materials effects the architectural scale
ii) Human scale is related to the human dimensions
- If the door is too high or the seat of the chair too small it is out of scale. When the human being feels ‘comfortable’ about any architecture it is to scale.
iii) Scale in objects and spaces
iv) Human being as a unit of scaling
v) Recognizable dimensions and elements: steps, door-windows
vi) Recognizable dimensions and elements: lampposts
vii) Recognizable dimensions and elements: Entrance
7) Scale in spaces
- From the smallest space to urban spaces scale has a role to play.
i) Scale in interiors
ii) Scale in public buildings
iii) Scale in urban situations
- For the correctness of architectural scale, the human eye and the human perceptions are the final judge.
- Physically, however, the appropriate and truthful deployment of material, the use of good proportions of all parts to each other and to the whole and correct use of anthropometrics will produce good architectural scale.